Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 7, 2015: Button

Sometimes, when I look back at old blog posts, I get the chance to relive an event that had managed to fall right out of my long-term memory storage.  Sometimes I even crack me up!  Occasionally, I am pleasantly surprised to discover a nugget of insight.  And often I wonder what in the world I was thinking.

Today was just such a day.

In many cases, I have forgotten exactly what I blogged each day when I participated in the February Photo-a-Day Challenge in 2012.  (What?!  Three years is a long time!)  But I remembered that on Button-Day, I wrote about my miracle-baby grandson Asher...and I remembered being pretty happy about that one.  Read all about it HERE!

Now...having spent the day with me, I knew for a fact that there was really only one honest way to allow this post to reflect the theme of my February 7, 2015:

Truthfully, this is the button I push the most on any given day!

I also punch the toggle switch on my coffee-maker pretty frequently.  You can see that picture on the blog post from 2012 that I mentioned above.  And you can still read all about it HERE.  ;-)

And if you do decide to go back in time three years, I apologize...  Because while I did get to re-remember some things, and I did crack me up, and I do feel like my thesis was solid, I also had to wonder what I was thinking at the end there.

Some things are best left to the imagination!

I hope we can still be friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 4, 2015: A stranger

I hate to admit this, but I'm not very smart.

Last night, I received a call from my parents, telling me that there had been a snafu with their travel plans and that they needed a ride home from the airport.  Seems their two weeks in sunny California had concluded with delayed connections, airplanes requiring extended de-icing, and one flight that was cancelled altogether.  

Welcome back to the Midwest!

So this morning, my go-along gang (my four youngest kids) accompanied me on a merry adventure.  First, we awoke to discover that we were going to be under a winter weather advisory, which promised to make the hour-plus trip much more exciting.  Then, while driving down the road away from our house, the windshield wiper blade just flew off!  And we really, really couldn't make the trip without that.  Fortunately, our neighbor (a big, bloggy Thank You to Brad Clark!) was able to tape the thing on well enough to get us to the nearest Auto Zone.

But first...the children had been promised a McDonald's breakfast.  By the time we had ordered, paid, retrieved most of our health-food, and pulled ahead to wait for the orange juice (yeah...weird), we had met a half-dozen friendly fast-food employees.

Then, at Auto Zone, I told my tale of woe to the genuinely helpful windshield wiper specialist, and I provided a great deal of amusement to the guy standing in the store for no apparent reason other than to poke fun at my plight.

Fortunately, despite the weather and road conditions, we managed to get to Grandma and Grandpa without having to make the acquaintance of any fellow travelers or local law enforcement officials.  

Of course, we are physically unable to pass through a town of any size without feeling the need to buy something, so before we could make our way home through the further-deteriorating weather, I had stopped for a few grocery items and had enjoyed a mildly entertaining conversation regarding drain snakes with a guy who seemed more than a little amused by how much my kids loved the hardware store.

You know...your average day.

Finally, finally, my entire family managed to reconvene at Stately Bennett Manor.  My husband and I got the chance to catch each other up to speed on our various activities and anecdotes.  And then he said, just in passing, "So, did you post a picture of any strangers from today?"

I nearly throttled myself.

I nearly went out into the tundra again just to find an unsuspecting stranger to photograph.

But, in the end, inertia won out, and I stayed put.

Then my daughter Grace saved the blog day!

Grace (and by association, I) had agreed to make a breakfast for our youth pastor's Fellowship of Christian Athletes group.  Grace volunteered us/me to make monkey bread.  Very labor intensive.  But I knew I had seen a muffin version on Pinterest, and I figured they would be more easily portable, and we found a great recipe!

We may have sampled a few.  And mourned a little that they were leaving the house.

As Grace packed them up, she was heard to say, "And they're going to be eaten by total strangers!"


Monkey Muffins.
You should totally make these!

And you know what that made me think about, don't you?  

Hint:  Hebrews 13:2.  Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.

Makes you think a little differently about all those people (some stranger than others!) who cross our paths every day, huh?

February 3rd: Hands

Three years ago, when I answered the challenge of this assignment, this was my response:

Clearly, some pictures just beg for a replay:

As a side-note, I like my new watch much better!

Here are my thoughts:

That first picture was taken just three years ago.  Three years of time which, at any given moment, I would have described as really long days.  Still would, most days.


Well...right and wrong.  (Who am I kidding?!)

One of those hands turns 18 in a month.  Another is just 15 months behind her.  And five more won't be as far behind as it feels when we're working on handwriting during school time.

In other living rooms in other houses in three other places are hands I held to cross streets and wait in lines at amusement parks decades ago.  So I know how this thing goes...time.

It's just not every day that I get a photographic reminder of what a really short time I have these people in my hands.

So what a comfort that, even as they grow out of my reach, "no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."  John 10:29

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015: Words

I homeschool.

My whole life is Words!

I've got handwriting practice, spelling tests, Hooked on Phonics (Worked for me!), historical fiction, fairy tales, and instructions for science experiments.

And I've got my personal favorite:  story problems!

Don't be a hater.  

It's like I tell my kids...story problems are like a puzzle.  Puzzles are fun!  Being an old English major, I've always enjoyed story problems because they gave me something to read while I was doing math.  If you gotta do math, you might as well get a little reading material out of the deal!  

Am I right?  ;-)

Sometimes my homeschooling allows me the opportunity to teach my kids principles that go beyond the intended scope of the lesson.  Like this page from the book "Mad Dog in the Big City," which, in my humble opinion, lends itself to a discussion about the importance of establishing your priorities wisely.

Note that these apartment-dwellers, upon being warned of a fire 
in the building, selected the one item they considered to be 
of the greatest importance.  

Yes...those are golf clubs.

Mercy and I discussed this at length.

However, there is life after the homeschooling day is finished.


Our house is full (some would say too full) of books, magazines, kindles, laptops...a veritable cornucopia of Words at our fingertips.  All day, every day.
Today, however, I believe that my entire family would agree that the most important Words I read are found in this recipe:

Rarely have I prepared a meal that met with such unanimous praise!  Even the pickiest eaters in the house were returning for seconds...then thirds!  I promptly pinned this baby so that I didn't have to be responsible for keeping track of this piece of paper!

You should make it for your family so that you too can have songs of adoration composed in your honor!  They will love it...

You have my Word.  ;-) 

February Photo-a-Day #1: My View...

My view today turned out to be a little different than I would have anticipated.  Normally, I would say that my view looks a little like this:

But I spent much of today with no real view at all, because all my local landmarks were eclipsed by blowing snow.  Our neighbor’s barn was rarely visible.  The tree-line at the other end of the field was completely gone.  And our favorite view was hazy through the blur of the storm:

In fact, the situation was so significant that we (and pretty much every other church in the area) had to close up shop for the day.  And while we do hate when that happens, it did afford me a view I don’t get to enjoy every day:  my children reveling in the joys of a snow day!

Here is my scenic over-look of February 1, 2015:

Teenagers wrote stories and songs.

Kids played video games in their pajamas.

Kids built forts.

And then more kids built more forts!

And even more kids played even more music in even more forts!

And even though we had no intention of watching today's Super-Bowl (which is just as well, since the satellite dish was filled with snow and didn't work all day!), kids insisted upon wearing football jerseys.  Some things defy explanation.  My children are several such things.  ;-)

Not pictured are the delicious sandwiches we constructed at lunch-time, the four pots of coffee we consumed, the two varieties of homemade brownies we made (and devoured!), and the untold loads of laundry I processed.  However, if I had to choose a favorite view from today, it would have to be the sight of all seven kids piled on Grace's bed playing Apples to Apples!

Who'd have thought they could all fit comfortably on one bed...

...and manage to appear so happy in the process?!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.  (Willy Wonka)



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Musical Monday: Share and Tell

Sad but true:  I fancy myself pretty mainstream musically-speaking.  Growing up, I was mostly Top-40, with a hard-rock edge.  Frankly, I had no idea there was anything else out there...until I met my indie, alternative, punk-rock husband.  On the great balance-scale that is our life together, I have introduced him to some stuff--mostly food (go figure!)--but I brought absolutely nothing to the table musically.

Yeah...I gave him tomatoes and bleu cheese and cream in his coffee, but he mainly rolls his eyes any time I think I've discovered a song he has never heard of.

That's what makes my recent find so extra fun for me!  Not only did I meet this song while watching television (which just isn't how I roll, typically), but I loved it so intensely, so immediately, that I went to iTunes and bought it!  (I haven't bought a song on iTunes in years.  Seriously.)  But then...when I asked Sweet Jimmy B if he loved this song, he wasn't even sure he'd heard it before!  

I should have run out and purchased a lottery ticket right then and there, because I was beating the tar out of all the odds on this one!

(Kidding!  Sheesh!  It's a joke!)

So maybe you are abundantly familiar with "Break Up the Concrete," by the Pretenders.  Maybe it's one of your favorites.  But I had never heard it until it rocked an episode of House...and now I share it with you:

Now, maybe the Pretenders aren't your cup of tea.  I've prepared a plan B.  Mainly because I had a hard time picking between the two.  And I believe in offering equal time to different musical genres.  And, plus, by the time I get this baby posted, it's going to be after midnight, so I figure I ought to levy some sort of fine against myself.  How else am I going to learn?

If you were reading a couple weeks ago when I shared the top 10 most-played songs on my iTunes, I shared the song "Fool with a Fancy Guitar," by Andrew Peterson.  Here is another song by this Christian singer/song-writer.  One of my favorites!  Enjoy "The Chasing Song."

Well, this was fun!  



Monday, August 25, 2014

August-Insanity Blog Challenge: The Final Installment!

It is with a strong desire to end well that I submit for your approval the final week of our blog challenge!  Who's with me?!  Let's bring this baby home!

  • Musical Monday  (That's today!):  Share a song that you don't think the rest of us have heard.  You know what I mean:  Something from the B-side of a record.  Something never released for radio play.  Something obscure that you happened upon.  It's nice to share!
  • Truth-or-Dare Tuesday:  What is your current Netflix (or similar) addiction?
  • What-Would-You Wednesday:  What would you eat for your "last meal" before a lengthy fast?
  • Thousand-Word Thursday:  Show us a picture of your most embarrassing article of clothing.  ;-)
  • Flashback Friday:  Share a story about a family member (not a parent or a sibling) who had a major impact on your childhood.  A picture would make this even better!
  • Shopping-List Saturday:  List at leave five (5) books that you have hated to see end.  Don't try to impress us with your literary genius!  We already like you!
  • Sunday Surprise:  If you should miss a day of blogging this week, use Sunday to catch up.  If, by week's end, you have blogged faithfully, use Sunday to share something interesting you learned in this month's blog challenge!

Happy blogging!