Thanks so much for looking. Be sure to leave a comment, if you think it would encourage my heart.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping Busy

It seems that each week flies by at warp-neck speed and leaves me wondering when things will begin to slow. I am not sure they ever will. Between my self-diagnosis of ADD and homeschooling and ministry responsibilities and the world series, we go from sun up to sun down. Don't get me wrong, we love  every minute of it. This part of "we" does, anyway.

My man has been busy, but I don't get many pictures of his accomplishments. Maybe I should consider photographing those. I'll see if I can get creative with that. Hopefully, after the Rangers win the World Series tonight, he will have some time to make me some pallet shelves this weekend. I will definitely take some photos of those. He has a collection of hot wheels that need a home in his office too. When he finds it, I'll give you a peek.

The boy most enjoys his video games. Those would really make for B-O-R-I-N-G photos, but I will even try to get creative there and give you a shot of him in "action." He has enjoyed making dinner on Thursday evenings. The grilled bbq turkey sandwiches he made were delish! We had to eat in shifts, but that was okay. We did give him some pointers about cooking to make sure everyone is able to sit together and enjoy a hot meal. This week he grilled hot dogs. Seriously, what else do you eat while you watch a baseball game? He is getting really good at playing the drums. Nate, you would be so proud. He is going to play for the teen choir on Sunday, November 13th. I'm nervous for him. He's not. He has a tender heart and way for kids. He makes me proud every day.

Our daughter is swamped with baking, piano, school, and her social life. She isn't your "typical girl" on most occasions, but she does love her social activities. Speaking of -- she left for Rusk today, with a friend, and will return home tomorrow. She didn't want to miss Trunk-or-Treat on Monday, but she wanted to have some fun. : ) She made Pumpkin Pecan Dessert in a jar this week. I hear it was delish. She is getting really good on the piano. She is growing, in Christ, and amazes me with her heart for others and giving.
Kylee's latest dessert packaged to give away to friends.

They are both raising money for Shoes for the Slums. If you are interested in donating, contact either one of them. One pair of shoes costs only $2.20. They have two weeks to raise the money. Each of them plan to donate their own money to buy some shoes.

It will come as no surprise to you, but I keep myself busy rearranging things and redoing things. This week, I painted our laundry room. I absolutely love it. It makes me even more excited to do laundry (which I am doing while I blog and watch the Rangers). See, I bet you agree with my self-diagnosis of ADD, don't you? I am working to keep the kids on track with school, chores, music practice and lessons. I am trying to get myself on track with menu planning, grocery shopping, pinterest projects, blogging, laundry, house blessing, and ministry responsibilities. I am not faring to well with myself, but we make it.
Here is the laundry room that makes me smile just to be in it.

We are all being reminded that God is in complete control of our lives, our circumstances, our relationships, our salvation, our universe, and our church -- for our sanctification. He is purposeful about what He allows into our lives. We are thankful that when He reveals our sinful hearts, He is doing it not to discourage us, but to remind us that He loves and won't leave us to ourselves. He is working to grow us to be more like His Son. We are striving to live James 1:2-4 "Count it all JOY when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its FULL effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." We fail more often than we don't, but we know, God loves us no matter what.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't leave without letting us know what has happened with your family this week. We'd love to hear about your favorite moments, spilled milk, or whatever else you want to share with us.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yesterland Farm

Two of the four of us spent Wednesday at Yesterland Farm. It is a Christmas Tree Farm that added pumpkins several years ago. We had never been there before, and it was a really fun day. Kylee brought a friend, which only added to the fun. We got up early, packed our lunch, and headed to Canton, where the farm sits. We went on a hayride, picked a pumpkin, visited the mercantile shop, sat in a teepee, learned about pumpkins and pumpkin farmers, and had a great picnic lunch. Kylee rode a roller coaster, rode a ferris wheel, slid on a giant, blow-up slide, participated in duck races, petted some farm animals, and played on the play ground.

Doesn't this look like it should be the front of my house?

Too bad Kylee and John didn't have much fun, huh?

Loving Life!

I even got a few fun pictures to add to my collection. I have three empty frames on my old window hanging in the living room. I didn't plan it, but the three that are there are pictures of red things. I am pretty sure, I am going to have to add the red fire truck to it.

So, what about y'all? Have you visited a pumpkin patch yet this fall? What other fun fall things have you done?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Unexpected Day

Today was a surprise of sorts. I got to sleep-in just a bit and have a lazy morning with my hubby. That was fun.

Big Mike helped Kylee with her pinhole project for astronomy, Mike discovered that LeCrae was signing autographs at Mardel, and Brianna texted me to say that they "would be cleaning at their rent house, if I wanted to come and help."

Today, I had intended to finish the cleaning of my own home that I started yesterday. But, I decided that I would serve today and give my children an opportunity to serve, as well. I gave each of the kids three chores to complete: *wash, dry, and fold a load of clothes; *sweep & mop a room; and *clean a bathroom. I went to start the dishwasher, so that I could unload it when I got home. The dishwasher would not start. Bummer! I told the fam I'd wash the dishes, make my bed, and clean my room when I got home. I grabbed some cleaning supplies and got in the truck to head to Bahamas. (Not THE BAHAMAS, but Bahamas.) Yes, that was our old house. I went to help a friend clean the house that I moved out of a little over 5 years ago. It sure did bring back floods of memories. So many things are different about the house, and yet so many things are the same. The front door looks different, but it is the same door that I opened to find my mom standing there after a very difficult day, welcome my hubby home after a full day of work, and welcome our guests to sit a spell. The walls look different, but they are the same walls that stood when we moved in, brought our baby girl home for the first time, heard about 9/11, and celebrated birthdays. Our bird bath still sits in the backyard. The trees we planted are getting so big. The blinds that covered the windows in Kylee's room are still there. The ceiling fan that cooled my son on hot summer days is still there. The "denim" bathroom with fence-wood trim is still there. There is even a shelf in the garage that says "Mike -n- Kym." You knew that would be somewhere, didn't you? So many memories flooded my mind while I was there today. I told my friends that I so vividly remembered doing all of this stuff the week we moved in while I was pregnant with Kylee. I could have never done it without the help of Toni and her mom, Honey. (I sure do miss that sweet lady.) We moved in on my due date, and Kylee arrived 10 days later. Just thinking about that time brings thousands of other memories. But I will refrain from adding all of those to this blog.

I introduced Bradley and Brianna to the neighbors. I sure do miss those neighbors. I miss that front driveway that forces you to use your front door and actually see people that live beside and around you. I do long for that connectedness with neighbors. I miss it. Did I already say that? I really do.

At the end of the day...the kids did a wonderful job! Mike got to go to Mardel for autographs. Both kids made it to a birthday party for a mutual friend in the student ministry. Hubby got his things done. I, finally, got home, washed those dishes, made my bed, cleaned my room, did a load of laundry, and watched the Rangers win so they could head to the World Series!

God gives us unexpected days sometimes. I am thankful.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come On Rangers!

We are definitely rooting for the Rangers to go ahead and finish this today! I guess we'll know if they do in a few hours. The boys are enjoying game-day hot dogs. Kylee chose Ramen Noodles for her game-day meal. I put a pork tenderloin in the crock pot this morning, so I think I'll have a pork taco. I have also roasted some peanuts. We all enjoyed hearing the 4Tops sing the National Anthem. We are ready for victory!

Our Ranger flag is hanging out front.

Let's do this, Rangers!

I've been busy decorating for fall. Never mind the fact that the weather here says it is still summer. Decorating one area usually leads me into another area which leads me to another area which leads to another. You get the idea. Below is the result of fall decorating with the Harpers. 

A closer look at the wagon set. Found the wagon at a yard sale around the corner this summer. I love it.

This was what the entryway looked like for about a week and a half. I have since changed it to be the family launch pad. They were already using it for that. Now it reflects that.

Here is a closer look at the subway art. It is one of my new favorite things to create.

Here it is. Everyone has a place for their keys and a clipboard for sweet notes from the momma (or anyone else) in the home. The calendar was blank, but now has all of our activities listed. Hopefully this will help us remember appointments.
Here is the living room mantle. I love it. My chair sits directly across the room.

Here it is at night. I love to look at it.
This is mine and Mike's room. I had planned to put the letters above our bed inside a frame, but they ended up being too big for the frame I have. I like it the way it is. Might just leave it. I have another project in my head. I'll let ya know when it gets outside.

One last thing before I sign-off today. A friend gave me this mum. I am killing it. Any advice for this novice? The plant that I brought home from Dad's memorial service is doing really good. Maybe mums are just too high-maintenance for me. : )
What should I do?
This one is alive and well.
Have a great night. Tomorrow is cleaning day. I might just have some new pics of things that I decided to rearrange. My family is hoping I don't, I am sure.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pocahontas Museum

You may or may not know that we are studying American History this year. Now you do, for sure. Kylee and her friend, Kate, made a Pocahontas Museum and we would like for you to take the tour. After entering you will follow the pictures from top to bottom then from right to left. Enjoy the museum and do visit again soon to see what happens next.

Exhibit One: Stones & Clubs
When John Smith arrived in Jamestown, the Powhatans put Smith on rocks and were standing around him holding their clubs when the young Pocahontas stepped in to save him.

Exhibit Two: Held for Ransom
When the settlers kidnapped Pocahontas, part of the ransom they demanded was corn and the weapons that the Powhatans had taken from them.

Exhibit Three: Furs and Corn
Pocahontas would go to Jamestown to visit John Smith. She would bring him furs and corn.

Exhibit Four: Learning About Jesus
Pocahontas was taught English and she was taught about God and Jesus. She got saved and then changed her name to Rebecca.

Exhibit Five: Marriage to John Rolfe
John Rolfe and Rebecca got married on April 5, 1614.

Exhibit Six: Thomas Rolfe
John Rolfe and Rebecca had a baby boy and named him Thomas.

Exhibit Seven: Trip to England
The Rolfe family took a trip to England. She met Rolfe's family and was even reunited with her friend John Smith. They headed home seven months later.
(This picture is missing. The ship was made from the bathtub, and it didn't make for a very interesting picture. Use your imagination.)

Exhibit Eight: Death of Pocahontas
On their way home from England, Rebecca became ill. The ship docked at Gravesend, England. Before she died, she told her husband that, "All must die. Tis enough that the child liveth."

Exhibit Nine: Remembering Pocahontas
Pocahontas helped make peace between the "white" man and the Indian. She was a friend to both.

Thank you for visiting the museum today. Hope to see you soon.


Kitchen Kapers

This year, Kylee has decided that she would like to do more cooking and baking. We enlisted the help of our Kitchen Mentor, Tami Mills. She has been so gracious to help Kylee where her mom falls way short of the measuring spoon. I don't know what it is about the kitchen that scares me, but I just fumble around in there most of the time. I can't substitute this for that or that for this. I just eat it plain and dry. Boring, I know.

Anyway, Kylee has learned lots. She has even taught me a thing or two. For instance, did you know that when you are baking cakes and cookies, you should always use jumbo eggs? I sure didn't. She has made Ravioli Lasagna, Chocolate Reese's Cookies, Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup, Oreo Brownie Cupcakes, Cranberry Orange Chicken, and Candy Corn Sugar Cookies. All were delish! She and her dad like a lot of chicken in their soup, so she doubled the amount she added. The Cranberry Orange Chicken recipe is from a friend. Kylee has amazed me with her skill and determination. She is still going strong.

Can you see the smile on her face?

We are going to add "Sandwich Night" to our weekly menu. Mike (formerly Little Mike) is going to start practicing sandwiches for the Sandwich Shop he wants to open after he "finishes" school. (I have always said "school" is what we all do everyday. It is just learning.) Anyway, he wants to make burgers and sandwiches in his place. So, let the practice begin! Big Mike (formerly Mike)  takes us to Chick on Wednesday nights after church meetings so that we can hang with the teens, So, that is three nights of no cooking for the momma. She is thrilled.

I'll let ya know how the first Sandwich Night unravels. Stay tuned.