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Preview: Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac

Praise the Lord & Pass the Prozac

Loving life in the South while loving the Lord. A little bit of crazy and a whole lot of love.

Updated: 2018-01-12T06:57:36.641-06:00


Daybook for March 4, 2013


FOR TODAY:Outside my window It is the sunniest day we have had in a good while. The past week has been bitterly cold; Saturday we had almost constant snow flurries, although nothing accumulated. We will finally be getting temperatures back to the 60s this week. So ready for spring!I am thinking about what projects I'd like to get done around the house: cleaning out and organizing bookshelves, purging closets, getting more pictures up on the walls...I am thankful Joel is back at school. He spent all of last week at home with the flu. Physically, he felt better by Wednesday/Thursday, but doctor's orders were to keep him home till today. Praying he does well on the tests he missed while he was out.In the kitchen are clean dishes waiting to be put away. I tried a new recipe yesterday that got a thumbs up from most everybody, Italian Chicken Casserole. Thinking about having some of the leftovers for lunch today.  This was a Pinterest find, and I am planning another Pinterest meal tonight. It's one I've made before: Crock Pot Pasta e Fagioli. Perfect for chilly days/evenings!I am wearing grey pants, white top with grey polka dots, tennis shoes.I am reading Luke chapter 8 this week with my Good Morning Girls group from church. It has been a wonderful study. I'm looking forward to the next one.  Still working through my Kindle; started a new young adult fiction book last night called The Misfortune Cookie.I am looking forward to Spring Break. We don't  really have plans, but it will be nice to have some downtime with the kids. Maybe even more Cora time!I am pondering how I can help my younger two achieve success with some of their extracurricular school endeavors. Joel is considering trying out for the middle school football team, and Halle is wanting to try out for the JV cheerleading squad.A few plans for the rest of the week: Dental appointments today and tomorrow for the boys; allergy shot appointments for them on Wednesday. Friday is a teacher's workshop day, so no school!Get your own daybook at[...]

February 6, 2013 Daybook


FOR TODAY:Outside my window it is dark and foggy. I have already received tweets regarding driving conditions in the fog, so I know I will need to be extra careful later when taking the kids to school. I like fog, though... I think it's pretty.I am thinking about decluttering and reorganizing the kitchen and bathroom drawers. They get disorganized so fast! I am thankful to have Emily, Jake, and Cora nearby. Love spending time with them, watching Emily with Cora, and getting a little Cora time for myself. Was also fun last night to see Noah holding her. In the kitchen it's too early to have anything going on. It is mostly cleaned up from our dinner last night. For some reason, a clean kitchen helps the whole house feel more peaceful. Maybe it's because it is the first room we see when we come in from the garage, or because it is open to the family/TV room. At any rate, if no other room in the house gets clean, that is the one we try to keep up the most.I am wearing navy blue pants and tunic top. Bare feet.I am reading the first 8 chapters of Luke with a small group of ladies from Twickenham and the Good Morning Girls group online. It is my first experience using the SOAP method of study, and I feel like I am getting more from my Bible reading than I used to. On my KIndle, I am still working my way mostly chronologically through the books I've added (I have over 1200 books, the majority of which were ones offered free from Amazon at one time or another). I'm up to February 2012 and just started a short middle-grade novel called It's a Little Haywire, by Elle Strauss.I am hoping I do more than just plan to get things done today, but actually do them. I am looking forward to ordering a glider/recliner for the family room. Found one I really like yesterday at a local baby store and we'll be ordering it later this month.Around the house it is very quiet. Everyone else is sleeping, except for Brian, who left for work before I got up. I am pondering how much better I feel now that I am no longer taking Lexapro. It served its purpose for a time, but it's no longer necessary. I seem to be more in touch with my feelings now and it makes a huge difference to me.A few plans for the rest of the week: Halle and I are taking a "cakeling" class from a local baker/cake decorator this Saturday. Heather at Slice at a Time is offering a class this Saturday where each person gets to make a mini fondant-covered cake in a Valentine's Day theme. Heather made the cakes for Emily's wedding reception last summer.  I'm looking forward to spending time with Halle learning something new.A peek into my day: the latest Cora picture from Emily's Facebook page.Explaining her nefarious scheme to overthrow the gov't.Get your own daybook at The Simple Woman's Daybook.[...]



So last weekend, the not-so-newlyweds took their 2 week-old daughter and moved into their own place. This grandma is glad that the new place is barely half a mile down the road. They found a 2BR apartment nearby with great amenities (washer and dryer in the apt., for one) and very reasonable rent. I am so glad they have a place of their own now, but it feels a little strange having them gone. I miss seeing Cora every day, but Emily does drop by every other day or two, so I'm still getting some snuggle time with her. Can't believe she is 3 weeks old today! I took this picture near the end of her visit today:

We finally got around to taking Noah to take his driver's exam this week. Now he has his license, so will be able to drive himself to work. This is a very good thing, especially since they like him to close (which means working till 1-2am). I believe we may be finding him a good used car this weekend. Let me rephrase that: I really hope we find him a car tomorrow. Sunday night he is scheduled to work very late... 9pm-3am.  I would be totally useless on Monday if I had to get up at 2:40 to pick him up. The chances of me getting good sleep after getting back home would be next to none.

Oh, and before I forget: I was blessed enough to get to hear Karen Kingsbury speak this past Thursday. My dear husband was thoughtful enough to buy us tickets for a scholarship fundraising luncheon at Samford University, where he teaches part-time in the fall. Afterwards, I was able to meet her. We had conversed briefly on Twitter the night before, so she knew I was going to be there. The photographic evidence is too blurry to post, but I do have her autograph inside my Bible study notebook. She is so down-to-earth... and lives less than 2 hours from here, outside of Nashville. Wish we could just plan to meet for lunch some day!

Winding down my computer time tonight... need to work on menu and grocery list for the next week. It will be interesting to see how our food bill changes now there are 2 less people in the house.

Call me Nana


Announcing Cora Jane Free, born yesterday, January 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm. 6 lb. 7 oz. and 20.5 in. long.

Mother and baby are doing great. Cora reminds me so much of Emily when she was a baby. So many similar mannerisms already. Emily is a natural mom. Looking forward to having them home tomorrow night!

Daybook for January 4, 2013



Outside my window the sun is shining. You'd never know it's only 40 degrees out. After a few dreary, overcast days, it's a welcome site.

I am thinking about things that need doing. Seems I think a lot more than I do. If only I had a team of handy "doers" to direct.

I am thankful for my children. They are constant reminders of God's goodness to me. Plus, they keep me humble. :D

In the kitchen sits my new Keurig my husband gave me for Christmas. I am now drinking more fluids than I used to... mostly peppermint tea. Love it.

I am wearing comfy pants, t-shirt, and a fleece jacket. And tennis shoes, or my feet would be COLD.

I am creating nothing at the moment. My creativity battery is on low right now. Hopefully will get it recharged one of these days.

I am going to be a grandmother soon. My daughter texted me from her OB appointment a few minutes ago and told me if she does not go into labor before next week's appointment, they will induce her. (Her husband just found out his job is sending him out of town the first week of February, and she would like for the baby to be at least 3 weeks old before he leaves.)

I am wondering what kind of labor she will have. Hoping she has as easy of a time as I did with mine.

I am reading a book on my Kindle called The N00B Warriors, by Scott Douglas. It's hard to describe, but basically is set in the near future where the Forever War is going on. This war was started by some blog posts, but no one really knows why they are fighting. Kids are being schooled with educational video (war) games and have great difficulty understanding the difference between a game and the reality of war. There is a mandatory requirement to serve in the army that begins at age 13. It's an interesting read. Just found out there is a second book, so I guess I know now there won't be a real "end" to the story.

I am hoping Emily goes into labor on her own.

I am looking forward to being a grandmother. (No surprise there.) Hopefully I can be just the right blend of supportive, helpful, and hands-off. I don't want to butt in where I'm not needed/wanted, but I do want to help.

Around the house I can hear the vacuum cleaner being run in my bedroom. Today is one of the 2 days a month our housekeeper comes. She is a blessing. She leaves our home so tidy and peaceful.

Get your own daybook at

'Twas the night before Christmas...


And some of the children are snuggled in bed (not to mention their daddy). Emily is still up, and Jake is killing bad guys on Xbox. The house is very quiet, though... so peaceful. I know it certainly won't be in the morning!

It has been a truly wonderful year for us. We have a new son-in-law, a granddaughter on the way (just 4 more weeks!), the school-age kids are doing well in school, and the blessings of family and friends.  Add to that the gift of Christ... Emmanuel, God with us... we are blessed to overflowing.

Tomorrow we will open gifts and eat our traditional cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Later in the day we will visit family at the home of one of our nephews (newly-married this past Sept.). Following that, we will go to his brother's house, where he and his girlfriend will prepare a dinner for all of us. This will be the first Christmas in MANY years that I have not had to cook. Feels kind of strange, but also nice that my kitchen will be clean tomorrow. We'll enjoy what is becoming a yearly tradition of "Dirty Santa" (gift exchange that involves "stealing" presents from each other). Hopefully we'll make a little music together as well.

Five days later, it will be time to celebrate Emily's and Noah's birthdays. Em will be 21 and Noah, 17. Again, we'll fall back upon tradition and go to a Japanese hibachi restaurant to celebrate. Seems like this started around 10 years ago and just stuck with us.

Funny... In the last 2 paragraphs, I mentioned 3 traditions. I wonder how many more we have? I've never stopped to think or count. I wonder if there are any traditions we should discontinue... (I can think of one tradition we used to have that is gone: the traditional fight-while-putting-the-lights-on-the-Christmas-tree. Got rid of that one by getting a pre-lit tree!) Are there any traditions we need to institute?

Such are my deep thoughts in the quiet of Christmas Eve... Praying blessings on all my friends and family this season.

Fall is coming


Time moves quickly on the ol' blogstead when you only post once every month or so! We made it through August, the wedding, and Joel and Halle's first month at their new school. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. We were so blessed that the extremely hot weather we'd been having decided to take a break that weekend. I don't think it got hotter than the low 80s during the ceremony, and by the time we headed outside for dancing, it was a very comfortable 70s. Such a relaxing day (except for the mad rush to get to the church, wherein I backed my car down the drive... something I rarely do, since I usually back out of the garage and head nose-first down the driveway... and into the fire hydrant at the end of the drive. Felt the thud and it took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Then I said, "Oh, well," and kept on going.)  Here's one of my favorite guest/family-snapped photos of the day:

Things are cooling off around here, which means we may soon get to turn off the A/C and open the windows. This morning was very fall-like. I had forgotten what it feels like! Will be good to see cooler temps and save a little $$ on the electricity bill. Keeping 2 floors of an almost 5000 sq. ft. house comfortable can be a bit draining on the bank account.

Appears that our plates will be as full as ever this fall. I think it's a good kind of full, though... I guess time will tell. The kids seem really happy with their new school. They're both doing very well. The school and their teachers are great about communicating. They embrace technology (email, school website, online assignment and grade reporting) so it really makes it easy to keep up with what's going on.

Tomorrow the kids will be checking out of school early to attend a funeral with me.  A couple from our church (who both teach at the school) lost their 9-day-old daughter this past weekend. It is the worst kind of tragedy, the kind that can totally shake someone's faith. Thankfully, all who are touched by this are choosing to trust God's promises and know that healing will come in its time. We don't have to understand, we don't have to utter empty platitudes that we don't really "feel." We can be honest with our pain and our questions. God can handle that and he accepts it. As long as we can still say, "You are God; I am not.  I will trust what I don't understand. I will hope when I don't feel hopeful. I will still stand with you when I feel shaken," He will sustain us.

An August Daybook


FOR TODAYOutside my window... it looks cooler than it really is. But thank goodness it's still not as hot as it was!I am thinking... of the "to-dos" I have waiting for me this evening. I zeroed out a long list earlier today, but it has filled back up again. One is to take my youngest shopping for jeans; he has outgrown his old pairs. I am thankful... that God has held me up through this summer of overflowing bathtubs, ruined bathroom floors and leaking kitchen ceilings, the repair of said floors and ceilings, a front-end collision that left me in a rental car for a month, strep throat, a 2 1/2 month notice wedding to plan, and the abrupt loss (unable to attend, not death) of the bride-to-be's attendant just one week from the wedding. In the kitchen... baked spaghetti is in the oven. Thankful to Noah for helping get it started while I worked on some wedding stuff on the computer.I am wearing... grey pants, a "One Nation Under God" t-shirt, and canvas slip-ons.I am creating... cards to put on the guest book table to ask guests to download a photo sharing app to their smartphones so we can enjoy their candid shots of the wedding and reception.I am going... to Target after dinner. Thankful for my RedCard. Actually, the first thing that came to mind when I read "I am going" was the song that says, "I am slowly going crazy, 1 2 3 4 5 6, switch; crazy going slowly am I, 6 5 4 3 2 1, switch." The song gets faster and faster until you can't keep the words straightI am wondering... nothing at the moment. My mind is too full to wonder.... or wander. Or maybe it is wandering and that's why I can't wonder.I am reading... The Witness, by Dee Henderson.I am hoping... my future son-in-law finds the job he is seeking soon. I want him to be happy in his work and I want my daughter to feel secure.I am looking forward to... the wedding this weekend.I am learning... what it is like to have kids in a "real" school. Halle and Joel started a new school last week (Thursday) and I'm learning the ins and outs of navigating the protocol. I will be getting involved in a ladies' group that does fundraising for the school and hope I'll connect with some folks there.Around the house... nothing much new. Just trying to keep it as uncluttered as possible; hard to do with Emily's wedding shower gifts taking up one corner of the dining room.I am pondering... when I can take a day and just do nothing.A favorite quote for today... "I'm not hating; I'm stating." (Overheard on an episode of Randy to the Rescue on TLC this past weekend.)A few plans for the rest of the week: Meeting with our wedding photographer tomorrow, having my eyebrows threaded for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, Emily's final wedding dress fitting Wednesday evening, church directory pictures Thursday afternoon, wedding rehearsal 2 hours later, our friend/minister from Omaha coming in to town Friday night, mani/pedis with Emily and Halle on Saturday, and seeing other out of town family members Sunday for the wedding.  What a slow week, huh?. . .What are you doing today?the simple woman's daybook...where every day is a blank page[...]

Daybook for May 27, 2012


FOR TODAYOutside my window... The sun is shining ever so brightly. It's a HOT day for May; over 90 degrees out. The lawn is freshly mown from a few days ago and it gives me a feeling of peace to not see tall grass in the front yard.I am thinking... about all the "to-dos" I have. We are planning a short-notice wedding for August and there are so many details. Never fear, I am not stressed at all. It is actually fun, and things amazingly seem to be falling into place for us.I am thankful... that the wedding planning is going smoothly. Seems like our first choices for venue, photos, DJ, and cake are all available and doable budget wise. Need to talk to florist and caterer still, but since we are doing a Sunday evening wedding (one concession made because of the proximity of the wedding), I am hopeful they will be as readily available as the other vendors.In the kitchen... there is absolutely nothing going on. It is blissfully clean and hopefully will stay that way until I have to cook again.I am wearing... grey pants with a white surplice top, no shoes.I am creating... LISTS!I am going... to our special end-of-the-month instrumental service tonight, followed by fun in the park with the youth group to kick off summer.I am wondering... what the coming year will bringI am reading... Homefires, by Emily Sue Harvey.I am hoping... we have a fun and relatively stress-free summer.I am looking forward to... being a grandma.I am learning... joy in all circumstances.Around the house... it is quiet. Halle and I are the only ones at home, since the 3 guys are on their way home from a guys' weekend in Atlanta.I am pondering... the goodness of God.A favorite quote for today... Desire God, not his gifts.One of my favorite things... a good book and a quiet house. (OK, that's two...)A few plans for the rest of the week: Headed to my sister's house in the country tomorrow for food and fun. The rest of the week will probably be spent firming up wedding plans, paying deposits, meeting with caterer(s), florist(s), DJ, etc.A peek into my day... Go here for your own daybook.[...]

Bullets before bon voyage


Just 4 days till hubby and I head out for the KLOVE Friends and Family Cruise... This will be our first pleasure trip (I don't really want to call it a vacation) sans kids in the 20 years we have been parents. Excited doesn't begin to describe it. We're meeting 2 other couples from our old church in Omaha. I am counting on it being a great time. I plan on doing a lot of reading, hitting the gym a bit, some water aerobics, relaxing, catching up with our friends, and of course... listening to and meeting the musicians!My big sis Pam is going to move in with the kids while we're gone and take over the parenting duties. I expect she'll have the entire crew whipped into shape by the time we get back. Emily will probably help her with some of the transportation issues (getting kids to/from school, classes, lessons, etc.). After all, Pam will be trying to carry her usual medical transcription workload at the same time. I don't have such a thing to deal with.Before I go, just some things that have been on my mind lately:My new best friend. These are the bomb-diggity! No more soaking and scrubbing the crock pot. I will never make a meal in the crock pot without these again.One of my new listening favorites on my iPod. He is what I remember country sounding like when I was a kid. Great songs on this album. I rarely buy whole albums on iTunes, but I got this one. Still hard to believe he isn't even 19 yet!Brian and I have started couponing. It's a little labor-intensive at first, but I can see that it will be less so after we get used to the whole thing. We will not become extreme couponers, however! It is neat to see the savings. We attended a class held by a local couponing expert, Kristan Stanford.  She was full of really great info. Any local folks who are interested should look into her classes; they are held several times a month by the local paper.OK, my list wasn't as long as I thought it would be. Should have taken notes in the car when all these things were going through my head and maybe I could remember the rest of the bullets. Oh well... for another day, I guess.[...]



FOR TODAYOutside my window... the sun is shining. The dogs are enjoying the backyard today.I am thinking... of how different the weather was last year at this time. Surprise snowfall blanketed the ground. I was a little disappointed we didn't get a white Christmas this year.I am thankful... we had so much family here to celebrate Christmas. The house was full; 19 people here for dinner, including nephews' spouses/significant others and another couple who have no family here. Mother spent almost a week here with us as well. We had a great time. Also got to see my Florida niece and nephew for a few hours Monday evening as they journeyed back from a visit to their grandparents in St. Louis. Wish we could have had longer!From the learning rooms... All quiet for now, but will be getting started back up with math and science next week.In the kitchen... Nothing going on, but it is CLEAN!I am wearing... Navy pants and cornflower blue sweater.I am creating... Hogwarts Castle with Joel. We are halfway through. Just 5 bags left to assemble.I am going... to stay home today. Have been out with the boys for allergy shots earlier, but hoping we can just hang here for the rest of the day.I am wondering... what the new year will bring.I am reading... nothing at the moment, but I have a lot of things waiting on my Kindle, as well as some books I picked up at the Scholastic Book Sale just before Christmas.I am hoping... to see a lot of personal growth in me and my family this year.I am looking forward to... the KLOVE Friends and Family Cruise in February. Brian and I are sailing with 2 other couples from our old church in Omaha. I need to find some clothes to take with me!I am hearing... the sounds of Halle and Joel playing Kinect Adventures on the new XBOX the family received for Christmas.Around the house... the Christmas tree is still up and decorations are still out. The dining room table is covered in LEGO pieces and a half-built creation. My bedroom is decked out with new sheets, a new quilt, and new shams that I bought back when we were getting the bedroom painted. We finally turned Emily's old room into a guest room... new mattress set in there. We'll work on adding some other things to the room to make it multipurpose; maybe set it up as a crafting area as well.One of my favorite things... is a peaceful home.A few plans for the rest of the week: Tomorrow I am going to the hospital's Wellness Center to get signed up. Brian and Noah have been working out there for a few weeks now. Time for me to get busy in the pool.  Friday is Emily and Noah's birthday. We are going to The Melting Pot for dinner to celebrate. No NYE plans yet, but will probably spend it at home. Hopefully my sister will be able to come over.Here is picture I am sharing... This is what Joel and I have done so far on his new LEGO Hogwarts Castle.[...]

Another September daybook


FOR TODAYOutside my window... there is a fall evening breeze blowing. It feels good to have the cooler weather here. I think fall is my favorite season.I am thinking... about the work waiting for me in my bedroom and closet. We have had painters here redoing the entire downstairs (ceilings, walls, trim) for almost 2 weeks and they finally finished up today. Having everything pulled out of my closet (which, because it is the largest one, became the place to throw things if you didn't know where else to put it) has kind of forced me into cleaning/reorganizing mode in there. I used my built-in labor (AKA Noah, Halle, and Joel) to carry things up to Emily's old bedroom, which we will eventually turn into a guest room/craft room/multipurpose room. Now I have to sort clothes and only put back the things I actually wear. My closet is going to look pretty bare, I think.I am thankful... my children were able to help me with the closet cleanout. I could not have done it alone.In the kitchen... are freshly painted walls with no grease splatters behind the stove. I need to run to Home Depot for backsplash tile quickly, before that changes!I am wearing... grey pants and shirt. Not a very imaginative ensemble, but at least it's comfortable.I am creating... ideas for decorating the house. Pinterest is my friend!I am going... to get back to work in my room once I finish this.I am wondering... about very little right now. My mind is on overload with all the "immediate" and "urgent".I am reading... Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb and Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher.I am hoping... to get into a routine at home again soon. We have brought Noah back home to homeschool around the same time the painting started and it has been a challenge with all the activity going on here in the house, not to mention waiting for materials to arrive. He is actually taking 2 classes outside the house, English and American history. We're doing math and biology here at home.I am looking forward to... the upcoming weekend. Brian and Noah are going away together to Outback America, and Halle is going on a junior high youth retreat with our church. That means it will just be Joel and me, which should make for a very laid-back and quiet weekend.I am hearing... my oldest daughter and her boyfriend upstairs watching football on the big screen (actually, I'm only hearing her; she's a very VOCAL football spectator).Around the house... The jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table is still there, but it is finally completed. I will find a frame to mount it in when things settle down a bit. The house is in general disarray; besides my closet to put back together, I have a cleaning closet to reorganize and also our coat closet to do.I am pondering... how long it will take to get the house in order.One of my favorite things... a fairly clean and clutter-free home.A few plans for the rest of the week: Continue to get things put back where they belong, attend my ladies' book study group at church tomorrow morning, shuttle Noah to and from his Tues/Thurs classes, and most of all: enjoy the weekend.Make your own daybook entry.[...]

Daybook for September


FOR TODAYOutside my window... the sun is shining. Fall hasn't arrived yet, but I know it will be here soon.I am thinking... of making changes.I am thankful... we have a God who knows what we need.In the kitchen... are dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher.I am wearing... comfortable clothes; grey pants and light turquoise v-neck.I am creating... a plan for the coming year.I am going... to make some phone calls.I am wondering... what the future holds.I am reading... Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher.I am hoping... I get some positive information today from my phone calls.I am looking forward to... the weekend.I am hearing... the sounds of silence. The house is very quiet. Youngest son is home sick from school and is reading to himself in my bedroom.Around the house... There is a jigsaw puzzle in nearly completed state on the dining room table. It has been so difficult that we're going to glue this one together. Rory, my Great Dane, is lying at my feet under the desk. She wants to be wherever I am. She's good for my ego.I am pondering... what the future may hold.One of my favorite things... A good book and a quiet house.A few plans for the rest of the week: Laundry. :DMake your own daybook entry.[...]

The Simple Woman's Daybook, 7/25/11


FOR TODAYOutside my window... I can see the freshly-mowed lawn and tree leaves fluttering in the breeze.I am thinking... about my sister. One week ago today, she had to make the heart-wrenching decision to euthanize her 9-yo Great Dane, Rockwell. He had gotten to the point where his back legs were not working and his muscles had atrophied so much that he was nothing but skin and bones. Then on Thursday morning, she found out one of her mares had given birth during the night to a pretty little roan filly. They had a vet check her over the weekend because they were concerned she wasn't doing well. The vet gave it a penicillin shot and that was it. This morning, the baby was dead. I am hurting for my sister having to experience these 2 losses so close together, and I am angry that the vet did not do more for the foal.I am thankful... God is in control. In the kitchen... it is clean, except for the bowl and skillet I used making cinnamon crepes for brunch.I am wearing... grey capris and a grey boyfriend t-shirt.I am creating... memories. I said "Yes" when my youngest asked if his friend could stay over last night, and he and his sister are having a great time playing with him (and it's not video games!).I am going... to the store later to pick up some things for dinner. We are having a friend from church over before he moves to New Mexico on Wednesday.I am wondering... if the vet will do something to make amends to my sister for mishandling the care of the foal, and if so, what.I am reading... Too Close to Home by Lynette Eason.I am hoping... something good happens for my sister soon.I am looking forward to... dinner tonight, and Wednesday night dinner/devo at church.I am hearing... Noah playing Minecraft on the other computer in this room. Halle, Joel, and their friend, Jacob, filming a "movie" that involves guns and bandannas.Around the house... Men are here checking the airflow and energy efficiency of the house. We have certain rooms that are hotter/colder than others and our utility bills have been on the high side. Hoping to find out why and what we can do about it. One of my favorite things... is curling up with a good book. A few plans for the rest of the week: I have a sleep study scheduled for tomorrow night. My sleep apnea has gotten worse so that I really need to use a CPAP machine. Will do the sleep study then get a machine/mask the next day. Kids will be meeting a new dentist on Wednesday as well. At some point we have to go shopping for school uniforms; the kids go back 1 week from today. :(Here is picture for thought I am sharing..."Cricket", Ladybug's foal, at 2 days old.Share your own Daybook by going to The Simple Woman's Daybook.[...]

Another belated update or Almost Gone with the Wind


I know, my last post might have given some hope that I would show up here more frequently. I confess I even thought I would. However, there is no way I can let recent events go unchronicled . I will start with the biggest event... the one that made national (international?) news this past week.Last Wednesday, April 27, our state was hit with a record-breaking number of tornadoes. One AP story quotes statistics of 226 tornadoes in one day and 334 deaths in the 24 hours between 8am that morning and 8am Thursday morning. We also had many severe thunderstorms accompanying the tornadoes, with hail and strong winds. The storms caused a 2hour school delay in the morning for schools in our area; as tornadoes began to form in surrounding areas, most schools wound up letting out early (my children's school has a tornado shelter, so it did not; my kids spent about an hour in the shelter).Noah and I were out in the storm at one point (had an appointment that we didn't know had been canceled due to the weather) and stopped at a local fast food restaurant just moments after a tornado had been sighted less than a mile away (unbeknownst to us). Only a minute or two after we placed our order, we were ushered to the kitchen of the restaurant, where we got to wait out the storm for 30-45 minutes. During that time, there was an area-wide power outage; most of northern AL had its power knocked out, including where we were sitting and here at home. We were able to get home during a lull in the storm. Emily had gathered our candles and flashlights, so we were not totally in the dark.Brian was still at work in Decatur (tornadoes were at work near him as well); the hospital was on emergency generator power. He wound up having to stay thru the night and next day, as the hospital was taking in storm victims from surrounding communities. Another regional hospital south of here in Cullman had taken a hit from a tornado, so could not provide care to victims.To make a long story short.... we were without power from Wednesday afternoon until sometime during the early morning hours of Monday. Thursday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. We had absolutely gorgeous weather, temperate and clear for the remaining days. It wasn't until late last night that another set of thunderstorms rolled in. Our time without power was merely an inconvenience, a slight one at that. Yes, we lost some food in the refrigerator and freezer. That's really about it. The boys spent more time outside than they ever do, getting to know the neighbor kids more, riding bikes, hanging out... We played board games by candle- and flashlight. Halle and I cut up magazines and made collages together. (Definitely therapeutic.... I think we'll be doing more when our magazine stash is built back up!). On Sunday afternoon, Brian and the boys accompanied a group from church to help clean up a home that had been hit by one of the tornadoes. The following newsclip includes a short interview with Joel, and you can catch glimpses of Brian (bald guy in maroon shirt) and Noah (tall kid in light blue shirt and basketball shorts with backwards baseball cap).There are still some areas without power. So many lost homes, lives, and loved ones. I read an article today about one congregation of believers whose meeting place was demolished by a tornado. They met Sunday afternoon in a neighboring congregation's building. The article stated that "8 people rededicated their lives" during their service. I can't help but wonder why it takes a tragedy to bring about a revival. I guess it is just one more instance of the upside-down nature of the gospel. Sorrow can bring about joy, pain can bring about healing, and death can brin[...]

Back from the dead


It's been forever and a day since I've posted anything. Rather than blame it on being busy or nothing happening, I'll let you all in on what I've learned about my frequent blog vacations: I've learned that one of the main reasons I stayed away was depression. I didn't even realize it at the time, but I had been living my life in a constant state of mild clinical depression for a very long time. Now that I've been diagnosed and am on medication (NOT Prozac, LOL), things are so much better. It has made a huge improvement on relationships with my kids and my husband. I think my general outlook on life has become more positive, and my husband says I am much easier to live with! (I never knew I was hard to live with!)  Anyhow, there is much peace and joy here in our home now that I am chemically balanced. Life's not perfect, but it's still great. Thank God for bringing the right people into our lives to help bring this about.

Another reason for my absences (related to depression) has been that I used to use online activities to escape. My time online was often a sore spot between me and my husband. So I purposely stayed away from blogging out of respect for him. As things settle into normalcy here, I see that I can still blog and respect him... but the out-of-balance me could not do both. I still will not be here every day; maybe not every week, either. But I will not have mental conversations with myself to talk me out of sharing something here that I want to share (unless of course, I *need* to do that!).

So that's the BIG news from our household.

Other really good news is that I had carpal tunnel release surgery done on my right hand 2 days ago. I have been suffering with numbness, pain, and tingling in both hands for a very long time (years) and finally decided I needed to do something about it. Only took about 3 weeks to get through the appointments needed to officially diagnose it and set up the surgery. I was able to schedule my surgery just 5 days ahead of time, too. Yesterday, I took advantage of the Vicodin prescribed for me; the pain wasn't awful, but annoying. I haven't taken any today and am going to drive the car for the first time since surgery this afternoon. I'm looking forward to my followup visit with the doctor next Thursday morning. I have to leave the Ace bandage on my hand until then. It's a bit of a hassle. Meanwhile, I will enjoy letting the kids do as much for me as needed. It has been nice the last couple of days!! In another 6-12 weeks, depending on how quickly this heals, I will have the other hand done.

There you have it. God is doing big things in my life and my family's life. Hope you can see what he's doing in yours, too!

October already?


Cannot believe how fast this year is flying. Just 2 more months (and 11 days), and we'll have lived in this house an entire year! It doesn't seem possible.

 The kids are on their second (and last) week of fall break, and Brian is taking the week off from work as well. Tomorrow is Halle's 12th birthday; she hasn't told me yet where she wants her birthday dinner to be. We'll have a small celebration tomorrow evening, then Friday night she is having a few friends from church come over to make pizzas, decorate chef's aprons, and spend the night.

That reminds me that I let Joel's birthday slip by without a post to remember it by. (Bad mama!)  He turned 10 on Sept. 15. We need to remember to take him over to the post to get an ID made now that he is "legal." (I wonder why they picked 10 as the age to get a military ID?) With Brian home for the week, we should be able to get that taken care of this week.

I'm getting used to having the kids gone during the day. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy some of the quiet with them gone, but I also find myself missing homeschooling and wondering if I will ever get to do it again. I certainly am not being as productive as I thought I might be with them away. (Bad mama!)  One thing I am doing is attending one of the ladies' Bible studies at church. There is a small group of us meeting on Tuesday mornings working through Beth Moore's study on Revelation.

The kids are doing well in school. They each had an overall percentage average in the 90s (that's all subjects averaged together). At parent-teacher conferences, I heard high praise for them all. Halle's teacher said she would love to have a room full of Halles, that it would make her days so enjoyable and easy. The boys' teachers each said they appreciated their behavior; no troublemakers here!

Guess it is time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'd like to host the family here for Thanksgiving (our first one here in our new home!) and hopefully for Christmas as well. It just makes sense, since we have the space. I'd better get crackin' coming up with gift ideas as well. I guess one advantage of the kids being gone during the day is that it will be easier to shop and wrap!

Simple Woman's Daybook, Sept. 4, 2010


FOR TODAYOutside my window... the sun is shining and it's beginning to feel like fall. Cool, crisp mornings that make me think of apple pies, leaves to jump in, and a hot cup of tea or cocoa.I am thinking... of what I might do today. Watch some movies with the kids, a little laundry, ???I am thankful for... my husband, who works so hard so that I can be here at home with our family. I don't tell him enough.From the kitchen... Something quick and easy, since it's just me and the kids today. Probably pizzas or pancakes.I am wearing... something comfortable and casual to hang around the house in.I am creating... a home for my family.I am going... to get to see old friends tomorrow. One of my friends from Omaha has taken a job here and is moving in this weekend!I am reading... Out Live Your Life, Max Lucado. Have to get busy and read more if I am going to get the review up on the 10th!I am hoping... we can have fun around the house today without making a huge mess. I hate cleaning.I am hearing... Not a whole lot. It is fairly quiet here in the office and the TV isn't turned up loud enough in the other room for me to hear it.Around the house... I am enjoying how clean it looks and feels after the cleaning ladies finished with it yesterday. One of my favorite things... Not having to run all over town getting things done. I really do like staying at home. I love being with people, but I don't like being overly busy.A few plans for the rest of the week: The usual trips to and from school every day; Sports physical for Noah (he is going to be on his school's basketball team!); a Pampered Chef party at a friend's house; my mom coming to visit next weekend.[...]



So much going on since my last post... A month of school down and just 5 more weeks to go until the kids get a 2-week fall break. I'm not sure which of us is looking forward to it more!  I am still trying to figure out what my routines will be while they are in school during the day. I have had many unexpected things come up that have made keeping a routine difficult for me. Last week, I came down with bronchitis. The first day, I could barely hold my head up. I had to ask Emily to pick up her brothers and sister from school. The next few days, I felt better, but still had little energy to do anything. We've been looking for a new housecleaning service, and one day was spent waiting for the crew to show up to clean... they were much later than they should have been and I wound up asking my sister to get the kids from school because they were still here (I don't want to risk leaving the dogs alone with them... just in case one was to get spooked and react adversely.)At any rate, I have much I'd like to accomplish.  I have stacks and shelves of homeschool books and supplies that I no longer need. They are taking up valuable space here in the office. I need to sort through them and figure out which books I am keeping (ones I want to save for future grandkids) and which I need to sell. Once I get these off the shelves (and floor), I will have space for other books that I've had to keep stacked or boxed somewhere. The other exceedingly large task that has been waiting for me for several years is getting all of the pictures we have organized and scrapbooked. I have thousands of hard copies just screaming to be taken care of; these photos date all the way back to Emily's early years. Then there are the digital photos on CDs, DVDs, or hard drives needing to be handled. I'd like to set up a place where I can start work on this project. It will probably have to be in the sitting area of our bedroom; either that, or in the bonus room upstairs. Either way will necessitate finding some kind of storage or organizational furniture/equipment to hold the supplies and photos.Not of lesser importance, but possibly lesser urgency, there is the continued decorating of the house. We'd really like to change the color of the walls in our family and living rooms. They are so light that the house just doesn't seem as warm and inviting as I'd like it to. We recently made an addition to the furniture in the formal living room, and I think it helped the room not seem so barren as it did when it just contained the sofa and love seat. A change in wall color would complete the room, I believe. Here's a picture I took:Once we change the wall color, I'd like to have a quote added to the wall over the piano. A dear friend sent me this quote about 5 years ago, and I have kept it ever since: Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. I think it would be a perfect complement to the piano. (BTW, if you hadn't already guessed, that was the recent addition; my brother-in-law no longer wanted his piano and offered it to us at a very good price. It's nice for Halle to be playing on a real piano rather than a digital one now.)So now comes the task of figuring out what to do first. These are the times I like a little company. Some things are just more enjoyable when shared, don't you think? Come on over; I'll make a pot of coffee.[...]

Simple Woman's Daybook, 8/2/2010


FOR TODAY, AUGUST 2, 2010... Outside my window... it's a beautiful day, but WAY too hot to be outside. I am thinking... and wondering when the men in the family will be home from their afternoon at the Space and Rocket Center. They wanted to catch the Star Wars exhibit before it leaves next month. I am thankful for... air conditioning! Seriously...  But also that my kids enjoyed their first ever (half-) day of school-away-from-home and are looking forward to tomorrow. I am wearing... grey knit pants and  a green-and-white striped shirt. I am remembering... the list of appointments and errands for the week. I am going... to start cooking dinner soon (hopefully... depending on the men). Bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy. YUM YUM. I am currently reading... amazingly enough, nothing right now. But I have 3 or 4 books borrowed from friends that I intend to start this week. I am hoping... to get our home office area organized soon. I need to sell some of my homeschool stuff now that I don't need it any longer. It will be hard to decide which books to keep and which I can bear to let go. On my mind... What is it going to be like around here during the day when it is just the dogs and I? Noticing that... my oldest child is truly growing up. Pondering these words... "Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes." From the kitchen... Not a bloomin' thing right now. Ask me again in an hour or so. Around the house... I think I can say all of the rooms are "company-ready" (except maybe my oldest's). I'm dying to enlarge the entry from the garage and create a "drop zone" for the kids to put their things when they come in. And I'm wanting to pick a new color for the walls in just about every room but the dining room and our bedroom. The rooms are too beige.  One of my favorite things... a breakfast date at Cracker Barrel with hubby after I dropped the kids at school this morning. From my picture journal... a picture taken before the start of summer, when we were at the Sandestin Hilton with Brian for a nurse anesthetist conference. We were staying on the top floor, and even though the weather wasn't really all that great (mostly overcast or rainy), we had a great view. It was enough for me to just open the slider to the balcony to let in the sound of the surf and the breeze from the gulf as I read a book in the room. Do drop by and visit Peggy's Daybook page, and leave a link for yours as well![...]

Book Review: The Voice New Testament


The Voice New Testament is a new Bible published by Thomas Nelson. While some might call it a translation, I think it fits more in line with a paraphrase such as The Message. However, this does not take away its usefulness. As a companion to a good Bible translation, I think it can bring new insights to familiar passages (ones we think we already "know" all about). According to the Preface, this new Bible version was created to "rediscover the story of the Bible." My favorite thing about The Voice is the inclusion of outlined boxes that contain extra material that expounds on the theme of the current passage, much as a teacher or preacher might do if they were discussing the passage in a class or worship service. Far from being a "study" Bible, one could think of this as a Bible storybook for grownups. It will capture your imagination and bring color and life to the story of God and His son.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Blog Tour: Robert Bresloff - The Wee Musketeers


A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a blog tour for The Wee Musketeers, written by Robert Bresloff. I won an Advanced Reader's Copy through LibraryThing a short while ago. I was more than happy to join in, and was excited to get the opportunity to ask the author about the book, which tells the story of 3 friends who get transported into the story of The Three Musketeers along with the grandfather of one of the boys. There is suspense and action as they find themselves changing the direction of the story and needing to get it back on track.  I think I enjoyed the book as much as any kid who would read it. My children are familiar with the story because of the Disney live-action version with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Chris O'Donnell, and Oliver Platt. I think perhaps this version might make them think about reading the story to compare the storylines.  So now that I've filled you in on the background, here are the questions I asked Mr. Bresloff to answer for me:What was the inspiration for this series?  I’ve always loved The Three Musketeers. Whether it be the book, movies, comic books, it didn’t matter. I even dressed as D’Atragnan on Halloween when I was in grade school. I still have my first copy of the book that my older brother gave me back in the early sixties.  Because I loved the book, the characters and the romance so much (my brother even taught me how to fence at 11 years old) that I often wondered what it would be like to walk the streets of 17th century Paris with D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos. What other books do you have planned? I have recently signed with Gauthier to produce, The Fifth Codex, an adventure that takes place in modern day Yucatan Peninsula.  It follows the adventures of a well known archeologist and his teenage assistant, as they travel through the land of the ancient Maya searching for the mysterious Fifth Codex. Illustrator Dan Ziembo and I are teaming up once again on the follow up to The Wee Musketeers, titled Robin and the Little Hoods. This time, Bobby, Fritzy, Keith, and Grandpa Max are joined by a new character, a girl named Judy as they travel to the middle ages and Sherwood Forest. Is there a reason the book is set in 1961, as opposed to the 21st century? Being a parent and grandparent, I realize the importance of children using their imaginations as well as playing outdoors. Unlike today, where children spend most of their time on computers and playing video games, my generation played outside and we played pretend a lot. We played soldiers, cowboys and Indians, yes and even musketeers. I wanted children to know the kind of things that my friends and I did in the, really, not so distant past. Are any of the characters based on people you know? Fritzy and Keith were, at the time, my two very best friends. We got into an awful lot of trouble (nothing serious) and played a lot of games. Many were pretend games, and just as the boys do in the book we played outside— almost all day. Grandpa Max, well, he was my grandfather. Unfortunately, Grandpa Max passed away before I knew him. I guess this was my way of having the relationship with the grandfather I never had the pleasure to know. It was actually my brother Marty that read to me and got me interested in the classics. What do you like to do when you aren't writing? I’m an exercise therapist as well as a personal fitne[...]

What's goin' on


So I haven't really written much about what's been happening around the home lately; just haven't taken the time to sit and write much. But it seems I have a little time today between laundry loads to write, so thought I'd catch anyone up who's interested.Last time I posted anything more than a meme post, I talked about looking forward to the ladies' retreat in Nashville. It was a great weekend (well, really less than a weekend) and I hated to see it end. We heard an awesome testimony and hiked MILES from our rooms to the convention center at the Opryland Hotel. Man, that place is HUGE! I think I'd rather go there when I didn't have anything to do and could just spend some time relaxing by the pool or something. The trip home was just as wonderful as the retreat. Lots of deep discussions and challenging conversation.Then in the middle of March, we got to celebrate some birthdays. My brother-in-law's birthday was the 13th, Brian's was the 16th, and my "nearly-niece" Heidi's birthday was also the 16th. We used the occasion as an excuse to meet up for dinner at a new-to-us place called The Mellow Mushroom (sounds psychedelic, doesn't it?). They make AWESOME pizza.  It was deelish. Looking forward to a return visit!The next week was a very special treat. Casting Crowns was in town for a concert on the 25th. I had scored 2 free tickets through a Facebook contest hosted by the local Christian radio station, WAY-FM about 2 weeks before this. Then the day before the concert, I won 2 more tickets from Mark Hall; these tickets included passes for a meet and greet before the concert. (Side note: I wonder if living in Alabama has made me more lucky... I've never been able to win anything so easily before!) I was able to give the first 2 tickets away to a friend and her daughter, and Brian and I used the last 2.  The concert was one of the best I've ever been to, probably because it was much less of a concert/performance than it was just a time of worship. Before Casting Crowns sang, we heard from Caleb (Steven Curtis Chapman's sons, Caleb and Will Franklin) and Kutless.Sprinkle in some fun family dinners on the weekends (I've been lucky enough to be able to get my sister and her husband over for at least one meal a weekend, and sometimes one of the boys will come along too). The other fun part is that she brings their new Great Dane puppy over to play with our dogs. Sully (short for Sullivan) is  almost 14 weeks old now and is bigger than Campbell, but not big enough to take Rory down yet. Rory is great with him and they have a ball together. This past weekend, after they had been playing pretty intensely, we noticed things had gotten quiet and found them curled up together resting on one of the rugs. I wish we'd gotten a picture. I'll try to get one of them together soon. I have a feeling he is going to be a big boy. His paws are already larger than Rory's.March was a month of movies as well. We saw Alice in Wonderland  (meh... I wasn't all that impressed) and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. That last one was fun. We went with my sister and b-i-l to see it and everyone enjoyed it. Oh, and this past Sunday evening, we took in How to Train Your Dragon with sis/hubby, 2 of their boys, and the boys' girlfriends. I imagine we'll be getting that one on DVD eventually.OK, this is getting long, so I'll make the rest of this quick. Halle and Joel are back at their respective music less[...]

Glorious Day - Then Sings My Soul Saturday


In honor of Easter, here's Casting Crown's version of an old hymn... depending on your hymnbook, you may have known it as "One Day" or "O Glorious Day." Strange how a new melody can make you hear the words almost as if it's the first time...Glorious DayCasting CrownsOne day when Heaven was filled with His praisesOne day when sin was as black as could beJesus came forth to be born of a virginDwelt among men, my example is HeWord became flesh and the light shined among usHis glory revealedLiving, He loved meDying, He saved meBuried, He carried my sins far awayRising, He justified freely foreverOne day He’s comingOh glorious day, oh glorious dayOne day they led Him up Calvary’s mountainOne day they nailed Him to die on a treeSuffering anguish, despised and rejectedBearing our sins, my Redeemer is HeHands that healed nations, stretched out on a treeAnd took the nails for meOne day the grave could conceal Him no longerOne day the stone rolled away from the doorThen He arose, over death He had conqueredNow He’s ascended, my Lord evermoreDeath could not hold Him, the grave could not keep HimFrom rising againOne day the trumpet will sound for His comingOne day the skies with His glories will shineWonderful day, my Beloved One, bringingMy Savior, Jesus, is mineOh, glorious dayMore songs of inspiration can be found at Amy's.[...]

"To Know You" - Then Sings My Soul Saturday


What's our purpose in life? What's God's goal for our lives? To make us like Jesus... to bring him glory. Paul said in Philippians 3 thatI consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...Nearly every line of this song is rooted in Scripture, especially in the book of Philippians (mostly chapter 3). What does it mean to know Christ?See more inspirational music at Amy's this weekend.To Know YouCasting CrownsTo know You is to never worry for my lifeTo know You is to never give into compromise andTo know You is to want to tell the world about You‘Cause I can’t live without YouTo know You is to hear Your voice when You are callingTo know You is to catch my brother when he is fallingTo know You is to feel the pain of the brokenhearted‘Cause they can’t live without YouMore than my next breathMore than life or deathAll I’m reaching for, I live my life to know You moreI leave it all behind, You’re all that satisfiesTo know You is to want to know You moreTo know You is to want to know You moreTo know You is to ache for more than ordinaryTo know You is to look beyond the temporaryTo know You is believing that You’ll be enough‘Cause there’s no life without YouAll this life could offer meCould not compare to You, compare to YouAnd I count it all as lossCompared to knowing You, knowing YouAll this life could offer meCould not compare to You, compare to YouAnd I count it all as lossCompared to knowing You, knowing YouAnd I count it all as lossCompared to knowing You, knowing You[...]