Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Breakfast, Anyone?

Today started out in a Dr. Seuss kind of way....



We had green eggs....





And...


"canned ham."



1954 Traveleze...the adventure begins!



Now, what's up for LUNCH?
:)

~april

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Squirrel

These critters are so funny. It seems we always have a squirrel sitting atop a post somewhere in the yard, but usually their posture is better!
A couple of minutes before I took this, it was actually flat on its tummy, legs hanging down by the sides of the post. Hilarious.

A Few Updates


I have spent most of the last week and this week cleaning. Really, really CLEANING. We took stacks of boxes out of my room(why is that the place where stuff needing a home always ends up?)
I couldn't believe how different the room felt just walking IN after we moved that stack of boxes from BEHIND THE DOOR.(so apparently "out of sight, out of mind" does NOT hold true always.)

At some point, my craft area--which is clearly seen from the kitchen, as it is *supposed to be* the breakfast room--got slightly out of hand. *cough, cough*
I know for certain it was the week we made dresses, or maybe Christmas(yes, Christmas!) contributed to it. Then I had the need to "seal off" the area to keep a couple of "little" guests out of the hazardous spots posed by needles, scissors, and craft blades--thus, the oddly placed cedar chest and bookshelf. I just haven't gotten in there and re-organized(why does everything always need to be REorganized?)in quite some time. I did have it looking all spic-and-span at one point!

On the other hand, the school room is shaping up nicely.  We took my grandmother's table apart--that is, took the hardware holding the two halves together OFF the bottom, so now it looks like this:
Each half has three legs, and is the perfect scale(45x28 inches)for a writing or computer desk. This is the SCHOOLROOM computer desk, and my rolling cart, plus the FILE CABINET that was formerly in my room. A lovely view out the side windows to see the flowers and the chickens. *smile*
I also moved the workboxes shelf, and that stack of boxes to the right is part of the stack--containing school hand-me-downs--that were behind my bedroom door. The plan is to put the easel white board across that corner, using the space wisely and somewhat screening the stack. At least the school stuff and files are now IN THE SCHOOLROOM. (The "like with like" concept is apparently harder to grasp than I give my kids credit for!)

Of course, while rearranging and dusting and standing and staring, a family works up an appetite. We tried our hand at calzones last week. 
They were pretty yummilicious, if I am allowed to say that about my own cooking!

And, of course, no rearrange is rewarding or complete without the accompanying "cutesifying" that has to happen. This is the plate rack in the kitchen's new look.
I draped a very worn vintage apron across the top, hoping to keep sweet little Lola from resting there(her favorite spot, but I don't like her near my dishes). Unfortunately, I think she was just thankful I had "upholstered" her favorite perch to make it more comfy! She will have to be shooed off till she learns she can't sit there anymore.
The back view--from the craft area. Soon this will be the view from my desk(the other half of my grandmother's table).

I love the light shining through the slats of the plate rack. It glows!

So that's most of my week--hubby is home, on the job search. We have been running the roads quite a bit, doing errands, a field trip, visits with friends. It's good to have him home a bit(he comes in handy when moving furniture!). 

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is bright and cheerful.

Hugs,
~april


Friday, May 11, 2012

Full Days and a Full Heart

We have had a week that ranks right up there with its busyness and emotionally exhausting status. All that considered, though, it has been good.

It takes weeks of starts and endings and just BE-ings to make a person appreciate the small joys and sadnesses right along with the big-deal, whoop-and-holler kind of things that also happen. This week has been fraught with endings, but a few beginnings too, and it has been EVER-SO-FULL of goodness.
Blue girl after a light shower.

I shared with you a video last weekend of my Redhead's end-of-year choir concert. Those are poignant reminders of the fast passage of time. Seeing that group of kids grow to new heights and sound so very different each year makes it REAL. The concert was last Friday night; looking back at it makes the week seem REALLY long(which means it was FULL indeed)!
Mine is the tallest Redhead in the picture!

Saturday last weekend we had a chance to go hang out with some new friends and make even MORE new friends. It was a joy and a challenge talking and learning from this amazing group of women(for me)and seeing their wisdom and their joy in loving and serving their husbands and children, and serving their Lord Jesus by doing so. I left that day exhausted physically and mentally, but challenged. I've said it before, and it's a truth I wish I could swallow down deep and make a part of me: WE ARE BETTER AROUND OTHER PEOPLE. We are better when we allow others IN, allow others to seek out the goodness God has wrought and allow them to sharpen the dull spots by His grace. I know that integrity is often defined as "who you are when no one but God is looking," and I agree, but I know too that our deep-hearted interactions with others CHANGE us more into people that can be good even when no one is looking. As a mom at home, seeking to manage my home and teach my children and support my husband, all while honoring my Lord, I NEED that interaction and challenge. It gives my mind and heart something to dwell on while I am doing the many would-be mundane tasks of homekeeping. There really is no task too small to be done to His glory, but at times it's too easy to think only on earthly things, rather than praising and thanking God that He has given me this home, these people, this food, this STUFF, to care for diligently.
C's first harvest. Jalapeno and plum tomato!

Monday was piano lesson day. J always dreads her lessons before she gets there, and part of that is the need to practice more. She always feels the pull of knowing she didn't prepare properly, the drag of letting her teacher down when she hasn't worked hard. I think that too is a God-placed emotion, driving her to new levels of accountability and diligence, so that she will learn to willingly hone her skills and develop her talents for His glory. That is why we go to piano, to be faithful in what He has given.
Practice.

Tuesday night our whole family attended a homeschool honor society banquet, and I was so impressed by the achievements of the students and their parents as this school year--and for some, this homeschooling journey--comes to a close. Those young people have increased their skills and gained a line-item or two for their high school transcripts, but they have also increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man...like the Lord they serve. It was a bittersweet time being reminded that this day-to-day job has eternal, life-changing possibilities, and it will require and use up the BEST I can give it.
There's not much that's cuter than a three year old and her pet chicken!


Wednesday was a friend day. We haven't had a whole day to spend with them in months, and we were both blessed and worn out by all the energy that the kids exert together. Fun memories, and more of that sharpening I mentioned in my first paragraph.
A best-friend-day is such a joy!

Wednesday night my J had what we can only describe as a migraine, and we are not too terribly worried about it NOW, but when your daughter comes and says she can't see properly, that her hand won't move and her head hurts and now the side of her face is numb, it's a bit unnerving! Thankfully she spent Thursday recuperating and is fine, and we are hoping that no more of those nasty things will visit again!

Thursday we made a trip to the orthodontist, with stops at Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx. I found a perfect red mug to add to my morning coffee arsenal.

They had some wonderfully illustrated old children's books at Goodwill, too.
C loved the subject AND the colors!

We also had the treat of having lunch with Daddy, even if it was a sub sandwich in the car. When his job ends next week, we don't know how long it will be till we get to have that opportunity again. Thankful that the braces are nearly paid off, too. God's timing is perfect!

We found out Thursday evening that C had a collection of poems she submitted to a local university contest chosen as first place in her division, along with another poem chosen for honorable mention. It is exciting to see her efforts at developing her God-given talents being rewarded.
As her 'teacher', I still cannot take ANY credit for this!

Today was a day at home, but it was B's "last day" with the people in his office. They had a special lunch out for him and gave amazing gifts that just took our breath away. 

Lovely gift basket from Whole Foods. Wow!
One more instance of God's goodness: we bought a dishwasher today, and the Lord provided the funds through their sweet gifts to more than pay for it. "And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." That's not a small  reminder of His faithfulness, as just this morning(I didn't know he was picking up the dishwasher today.)I finally felt like I couldn't go on much longer handwashing all the normal eating (and from-scratch-cooking) dishes that a stay-home family of six uses...I know it's a luxury, but we ran our old dishwasher THREE TIMES A DAY. Y'all, that's a LOT of handwashing dishes!

Today we also made yummy raspberry-lemon scones and homemade snow cones.

They were both absolutely scrumptious.

The snow-cone syrup was all-natural, made of organic sugar and real lime juice. We topped them with a bit of lemon and lime zest chopped into organic sugar. SO GOOD. Nothing artificial. Love it!

So there's my full head, full week, and many blessings that make for a full heart. God is good. We know this transition with my hubby's job hunt(and likely some lifestyle changes for the whole family)will not all be smooth sailing, but we are looking ahead to His provision and what adventures He has in store as we seek to live for His glory.
The heavens declare His glory!

That's what's going on HERE. How about you?

Blessings to you, my friends,

~april

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunroom-on-the-North-Side Rearrange

I think it was two weekends ago I sat with a pad of paper and pen for a couple of hours and drew up plans for a NEW "GRAND REARRANGE". I even drew diagrams for my hubby to see, so he could approve my ideas BEFORE I asked him to move the first stick of furniture(yes, sometimes it is beneficial to DRAW a picture!).  Then I made a list of the order in which I thought things should be done.
The sunroom rearrange was really kind of far down on the list, but I knew it was fairly self contained, and since I was having trouble getting excited about doing all the work involved in the other areas, I  thought MAYBE refreshing this room would give me the necessary jump start to do the other things. So we did it yesterday. 
(We will see if it did, indeed, provide that "jump start"!)

Here is the finished room last night. I know the picture is not exactly bright, but the flash was just TOO MUCH for it, and I have NOT mastered the settings on my new one year old camera YET.

The furniture movement involved placing the piano in the corner and switching its position with the green table, along with swapping the chair and love seat around and turning the love seat at a slight angle to open up the walkway. The door behind the love seat leads to the porch, deck, and pool, so we have to keep that walk space open this time of year.
I enjoyed pulling some things together for the top of my little green table, where now I can sit during piano practice and write a note or read while keeping an eye on the Practicing Child of the Moment. 
A simple arrangement on top of the piano.
The sky was getting really pretty at this point in the day.
The piano bench can now work for sitting(having tea?) at the table as well as the piano!
 This is the view toward the kitchen side.
 Another picture just for the sake of that sky!  It was so peaceful outside. We've had some LOVELY sunset-hour skies lately.
 Ah, the morning light brings us a better view--and there's The Practicing Child....today is piano lesson day!
The room really is SO much lighter and breezier this way.  I think it will also be easier to keep the floor under the piano clean without the view being completely blocked.  A couple of the kids said "It feels like the BEACH in here!" I took that as a compliment.

Thanks for stopping by!
~april

Participating in Met Monday

Thanks to the lovely hosts of these fun parties!




Saturday, May 5, 2012

A bit of beautiful music

Last night my Redhead had her final choir concert for the year. It was a beautiful evening, and we enjoyed the music so much. I thought I'd share a bit with you.

video

All Praise to Thee, My God, this night,
For all the blessings of the Light.
Keep me, oh keep me, King of Kings,
Beneath Thy own Almighty Wings.



Hope your day is LOVELY!

~april