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Outside in Kansas City~Sunny and 37 degrees.  We have been enjoying record highs lately and the forecast predicts 60 degree weather again this week!

I am thinking~that I would like to blog on a regular basis this year. I am also hoping to start training for a 5k and am entering into a new discipleship relationship.  Excited about new things in 2012.

I am thankful for~family time over the holidays.  It was such a blessing to have all our children and grandchildren with us on Christmas.  I know there will be years that this can’t happen so I truly appreciate it.

In my kitchen~I am planning to eat from the current fridge, freezer and pantry offerings this week.  It will help to clear things out before they go bad and save some money after the Christmas spending. After that I am planning to try out Once a Month Mom’s real food challenge and the Whole Food’s Menu.

I am wearing~My new fleece pullover from Land’s End, Jeans, Nike’s.

Last creative endeavor~is to regularly entertain, distract, and care for a nine month old 😉

Sleeping Sweetie!

I am going~to travel to El Salvador with a group from Faith Community Church for 10 days in March.  My daughter, Gaubri, will be going too. We are very excited about going to serve others and share the love of Christ.

Gaubri

Can’t wait for~tomorrow, every day is a new adventure. Longer term I am looking forward to a trip to Europe in spring 2013, Lord willing.

Family News~We are down to five people at our house right now.  Our foster son who has been with us since last January transitioned to his new home the day before Thanksgiving. He is being adopted by a family member who really loves him so this is a great ending for our placement with him.  We really need prayer about future placements, if, who, when, we take in more children.  Initially we were just focused on having a “break” and even though we have gotten several calls about placements we have told everyone that is what we are doing.  We still have our foster daughter, and she is spending three nights a week with her birth mom so we are in a very doable place right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that internal nudging that there is such a need and the constant reminder from the calls and the postings looking for placements on the foster care email loop keep me pondering what our next step should be.

Current Read~I am starting Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn Severance.

I am hearing~The hum of the computer, Brent took Gaubri and Shakur to basketball practice and baby D is taking a nap.

I am hoping~to keep the household organized with a new app I purchased for my Iphone called Motivated Moms 2012. It also comes in printable versions and breaks household tasks down into daily lists, similar to the old card system that the Sidetracked Executives used or Flylady without the deluge of emails.

Around the house~the dead Christmas tree has been taken to the woods and the living room is back to normal. The house seems very empty and quiet after the holiday invasion…

Simple pleasure~quiet time to blog and meal plan.

Outside in Kansas City~ It is already hot and muggy at 7:20am this Saturday morning. According to Weather.com:  The common weather themes this holiday weekend are what you would expect them to be during the first week of July: heat and thunderstorms.

I am thinking~a lot about Biblical Counseling, biblical change; especially how it needs to affect my life, and about anger specifically.

I am thankful for~God’s grace and mercy and the insight and dedication of his people. On another note I am grateful that I got a full night’s sleep last night for the first time in months, both babies had a super good night, no dog barking, no husband snoring, and no older son coming in late. Bliss!

In my kitchen~there is a happy, well-rested three-month-old playing happily in her bouncy seat and a 13-year-old boy munching his way through a big bowl of cereal.

I am wearing~Gray capri sweat pants and my Faith Christian Academy Walkathon t-shirt.

Last creative endeavor~was to start writing my first biblical counseling certification paper.  It may be a very challenging and painful endeavor because I have not written a paper in years. My book choices are Why Christian’s Can’t Trust Psychology which I read months ago and really loved and Competent to Counsel which I am currently reading.

I am going~to attend the IABC National Bible Conference in Colorado the first week of August (Lord willing). Julie Ganschow will be one of the conference speakers.

Can’t wait for~school to start…I know weird.  I will miss the some things but I really prefer for the kids to have the structure of school.  In our neighborhood there are not a lot of good options and it is hard to provide recreational opportunities that work for 3 months to 16 years.

Family News~My son, Nicholas and, his wife, Staci, graduated from Dordt College this spring and moved to Holland, Michigan where he is working for Gentex and she is working in a shop that sells wine from a nearby vineyard.

Current Read~Getting a Grip: The Heart of Anger Handbook for Teens by Lou Priolo. This book was recommended to me recently and I am so glad to have it. It is written in a really practical way.  Lou Priolo is a newly discovered and appreciated author for me.  The church I attend, Faith Community Church, recently had men’s book studies utilizing his book The Complete Husband and his writing and heart for Biblical counseling is refreshing.

I am hearing~our little foster son babble from his stander.

I am hoping~to get lots accomplished over this holiday weekend.  I may use the 15 minute approach because I have such a variety of things that need to be done.  We will see how that works-15 minutes of decluttering my bedroom where every stray piece of  paper and clothing seems to congregate, painting on the ongoing woodwork project as we move from brown trim to white, etc…

Around the house~still working on the trim throughout the interior of the house and I love the change to warm white so much.  It’s amazing how there are constant repairs to do to any house you own.  We have a list right now that includes replacing the garage doors (unfortunately a necessity), mudjacking the driveway, rebuilding a crumbling brick area in the front of the house (caused by the need for mudjacking the driveway) among other less pressing things like finishing the exterior painting started last summer and repainting/staining the deck which was just done last year but because I chose the wrong stain has to be done again already.

Simple pleasure~Iced Coffee

Outside in Kansas City~28 degrees with freezing drizzle…gloomy and gray outside.  Forecasts for this week include record snows and low temperatures so everyone seems to be preparing for the worst.

I am thinking~that I will be glad to have all my family home safe and sound tonight before the bad weather hits.  Brent home from work in Topeka and the kids home from school.  I kept our newest edition home from his daycare today.

I am thankful for~The safe arrival of the dental team and Emily Duffey back from their mission trips this past weekend.

In my kitchen~I’m ready to start whipping up some comfort food to keep us warm through this frigid weather.  I think I’ll start with a batch of Hamburger Buns in 30 minutes, these make such great bread for a variety of uses. Some simmering soup seems to be a logical second step.

I am wearing~Paint clothes-jeans and one of my husband’s comfy long sleeved paint shirts along with warm wool socks to keep my feet cozy.

Last creative endeavor~ Worked on some embroidery  a few nights ago and just ended up pulling it all out, just not feeling the needlework thing. Dining room wall will have to be my “creative” outlet for now.

I am going~to introduce J our newest household addition.  He is a sweet one year old boy who is operating at the same level as a pretty newly born infant in a lot of ways.  He has brain damage from a lack of oxygen and it affects his vision as well as his control of/use of his whole body.  Sweet J is fed through a G-tube and takes nothing orally.  He is on a strict schedule but otherwise has moved pretty seamlessly into our household.

Can’t wait for~a visit from Taylor, I’m missing him!  Got to see Nicholas unexpectedly this week and it was a blessing.

Family News~Nicholas and Staci will be graduating from Dordt College this spring.  Nicholas has a job interview in California in February.  Please be praying for wisdom for them as they make decisions regarding their future.

Current Read~What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp it is really very good.  Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill so far so good, I’m trying to tighten my food budget which has gotten out of control in the past few months.

I am hearing~The humidifier in J’s room, very quiet here today.

I am hoping~to finish my dining room project before the day is over…

Around the house~the refrigerator is restocked as well as the pantry, prescriptions refilled, firewood stacked, necessary paper goods double checked, sidewalk treatment restocked and broken snow shovel replaced.  Bring it on!

Simple pleasure~Big mug of hot sweet tea.

The Classical Education You (Probably) Never Had

The college education that I barely started and probably will never complete is sometimes a true regret for me.  Although I love to learn I am usually randomly pursuing practical information I can use in daily life.  This is useful, but I still have the desire to expand my horizons and experience much more of the classical education several of my children have been blessed with.  I had purchased the book The Well-Educated Mind~A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer a number of years ago.  The basic premise of the book is introduced here and here. I chose Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes as my first true literary endeavor and made it halfway through.  Feeling like a failure I loaned my WEM book to my daughter and put my Great Books goals on the shelf until recently.  I am reinspired to begin my education and am hoping some will choose to join me so we can discuss, in person or via blog comments, what we are reading.

If you are interested in reading and discussing a book at a fairly slow pace, the next step would be to decide on a genre-fiction, autobiography, history, drama, or poetry and then a book within the genre.  Such as-Jane Eyre, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, The Prince, Oedipus the King, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Let me know if you are interested, otherwise I will proceed alone with Susan Wise Bauer as my guide.

What an incredibly beautiful time of year this is!  The short, dark, days of winter are forgotten and we can feel the heat to our bones.  I know some would say too much heat, but even without a/c in my van which can get very hot and draining I would not trade for winter cold.

Taylor’s tournament last weekend in Springfield ended on a low note.  They lost their game on Friday in a pretty ugly manner and when storms came in that night it was a rain out for the rest of the weekend.  Oh well, they have the opportunity to shake it off and start over in the Baker Tournament starting today, Tuesday @ 5PM, Rockhurst University Field. 

We were able to get home Saturday evening, pick up Ruby from my mom’s house and take a quick nap before Jeremy and Ginny invited us over for dinner.  We enjoyed salad, grilled chicken, and garlic bread and then Joe and Kate Bancks surprised all of us with root beer floats, mmmm….

Sunday morning I snuck into the early service at FCC and was able to enjoy Sunday school too. It was great to be back and Tim preached a wonderful sermon, as usual.  Sunday school was very informative and interesting.   Wow, early service, sunday school and off to take advantage of the day, I could get used to that.  We were able to have lunch, naps, and got lots of work done on the garage and sub-basement, two of the major projects on my wish list. 

I am heading out to put another coat of paint on the picnic table.  I will post pictures soon of some of the completed projects.

 I finished reading the book- The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham.  I really would recommend it if you are interested in crime stories.  It is very interesting and thought provoking. I am really questioning my views on capital punishment, the fallibility of the justice system, local law enforcement, etc…   

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