On Eagles’ Wings

As I mentioned in my last post, 2013 was busy. There were great moments of triumph and even greater moments of sorrow.

Just after Thanksgiving 2012, my BIL was admitted to the hospital to wait for a heart transplant that never came to be. He was one of those guys who loved to laugh and had fun everywhere he went. Children couldn’t stay away from him. He was their favorite jungle gym. Even today I can hear his laugh. He is sorely, agonizingly {is that a word?} missed.

My SIL is an amazing woman. Her strength and faith are without measure. There just aren’t enough words to describe all she has been through or how she continues to mirror the grace of God in her daily life.

Keith Nov 2000


Bad, Bad Blogger

Yes, it’s that time of year again. You know, that time when I realize that I only posted once last year, and tons of things have happened, and it’s another year already. Gah!

The next few posts will be my attempt to catch up a bit. Don’t expect too much I’m old and, as I mentioned before, a lot has happened since I last posted.

Oh, Happy 2014!!

Jan 2014 Ice

Off to School

This year marks the first in six years that I haven’t had at least one of my sons at home full-time. Take a second to digest that, I’ll wait.

This has been an exciting transition for my guys. For me? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I am very secure in our decision. I just miss the big ol’ fellas.

I love the homeschool lifestyle. Waking up whenever I want (7:00 a.m. is the perfect waking up time) and not having to plan my families activities around a school calendar affords incredible freedom. Meeting after church on a Sunday night? Sure! State Junior Olympics Competition on a Friday? Why not!? Stay up late on a Wednesday? Go for it.

Mentally, I’m still a homeschool mom. I still subscribe to the local support group’s email list because they have the inside track on all the cool family activities in our area. I still drool over those amazing lesson planners and super sales on homeschool stuff that pop up in my inbox.

I will never pass up a good sale on school supplies, ever. I’m pretty sure I am hard-wired that way. I get giddy when I see the huge bins of pens, pencils, and big pink erasers. Don’t even get me started on binders-I found the cutest one the other day, all girlie and bright; and then there was this really sturdy one with the rubber edges, and the mini one that holds 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paper… I may have a problem.

Lazy Daze of Summer

Lazy sounds pretty good right now. If you read my last post you know lazy hasn’t been in the equation for us this summer. I have been in a bit of a daze. Where has the time gone?

As shooting sports competitions go, the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) is a big one. It’s the one that requires the most preparation. The kids study, practice, then practice and study. They shoot and take several tests pertaining to gun safety, orienteering, wildlife ID, etc.



We went to Anniston, Alabama for air rifle Junior Olympics in June. My son’s team qualified at the state level, so off we went to the national competition.




 We left Alabama and headed for the beaches of sunny Florida. This sunset was snapped along the way.




 Perdido Key is my favorite place to vacation. This was the view from our condo. We watched dolphins play in the gulf every morning.




Next came Daisy Air Rifle Nationals. Both sons competed in this one.




A deer collided with my husband the night before our Anniston trip. Yes, that is my brand new car. If it helps, he felt terrible. {My husband, not the deer. The deer hopped right up and ran away.}




Trust me, the craziness continues. I will get back to crafting and DIY soon. Really!

I’m Baaaack

I’ve been a bad blogger. I apologize.

I do have a lot of reasons excuses for not posting all summer. Today I’ll begin to fill in the blanks of the last few months.

First, we mourned the demise of Penelope (you can read more about her here be sure to click on the comments).

On April 19, 2012, my hubby was involved in a wreck when a motorist ran a red light. He developed a fondness for his rib belt. {We named it Mirt, short for Man Girdle–Mirdle.}

He’s okay now but it was a long two month recovery period. He is a general contractor. Normally he would have been forming pads, working on footings, and smoothing yards with he little John Deere tractor. Spring and summer are his peak seasons. He managed to hire out the work so the jobs stayed on relatively on track.

Don’t worry, we got our replacement car-also a red Prius. Good gas mileage still ROCKS! The new car is even better. It’s a 2012, Prius 4. I know that means absolutely nothing to the non-hybrid people. It just means more bells and whistles than the last one. The dealer made us a super deal.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

-Romans 8:28


Next, my youngest son had stitches. He was helping his dad repair the fence and cut his leg on a post.

We had a crazy morning. Hubby was still sore from the wreck so when the cows got out {because that’s what cows do at the worst possible moments} he took our son along to do the lifting and pulling. I heard a door slam then, “MOM! Come look at this.” Ugh, big gash, another doctor visit.

Then, my sister had surgery. I knew it was coming and I had volunteered, willingly, to help around her house for a few days. I just hadn’t planned on all the drama of the previous week. It was actually a nice break for all of us. My son and I got to play with my five-year-old niece and even go on a field trip with her kindergarten class. Hubby was glad to have some alone time.

Did I mention that both sons are involved in 4-H Shooting Sports and they had practice two nights a week and all day Saturday? And that Hubby and I cook lunch for the group on Saturdays? And that we were trying to finish up homeschooling for the year? And, and, and…

I Just Can’t Wait To Get On the Road Again

I was clearing out my inbox when I came across this little gem:  MomsMinivan.com – 101 Road Trip Games, Car Travel Games for Kids, and Games to Play in the Car, Printable Car Trip Games.

I wish I had this site when my guys were little. We have played a lot of these games (love pipe cleaners and aluminum foil), but I think my kids would have loved Pirates of the Caravan. I’m not sure how long the pirate talk would play with my hubby these days.  He might make us walk the plank. {Aarrrgh!}

There were a few that caught our eye, and my 17-year-old asked me print out the Battleship game, just in case. 🙂

Happy travels!

Welcome to the Family

Well, we did it. Something we didn’t think we EVER do again. This is huge for us. Seriously, H-U-G-E, HUGE! What did we do? Okay, here it is:  we bought a brand new car. {Feel free to cheer loudly.}

I suppose this is a common thing for many people; exciting and fun, but by no means news worthy. For us, this is monumental. I have only bought used cars, and when I get a car it is for the long haul (pun intended).

My first car was a used 1979 Mustang. (Google it, they weren’t as cool as they sound.) I drove my little 4-cylinder, metallic bronze car–with a hood scoop–until a few months before the birth of our first child. Poking a baby into the back seat just wouldn’t be practical and by then it was fifteen years old. My dear hubby wasn’t going to chance a break-down with such precious cargo. I’ve always loved that about him.

The “baby” years were escorted in with our sea foam green Ford Tempo. We bought it in 1994 and it was small, but had four doors. The upcoming baby’s car seat fit in the back and the trunk had room for a stroller.

I had no way of knowing the little Tempo would hold up so well. We kept it until 2001. This time we moved up the Ford ladder to a 2000 Taurus. We had saved up enough money to pay cash and just happened to purchase it on my birthday. Our oldest son was in a booster seat, the youngest was still in his big car seat. The larger car gave them room to kick their feet while they rode, but they were sad to see the old car go. They eventually came around. The Taurus is still being driven to school by our oldest son. (Much to his dismay.)

We drove a Tahoe for a couple of years, it was very gently used by a family we knew well, and just sort-of dropped into our laps. It was comfy, had lots of options, and gave us our first experience with seat warmers. (Not sure how we managed without them all those years.) It has a lot of miles left in it, but with the current economy and rising fuel prices, we decided to make a change. I just hope we don’t have a lot of flooding this spring, and that next winter is as mild as the last one or we’ll be kicking ourselves.

My husband has owned at least four brand new trucks and a couple of used ones. We ordered our last truck from the dealership because he didn’t want all the bells and whistles that came with the ones on the lot. He had to tow mondo amounts of weight for work, and the used trucks we found just couldn’t cut it.

We didn’t think we’d buy new for the family vehicle, but we couldn’t find a used one for much less than new (seriously, I saw one that had 40,000+ miles on it, was two years old, and they still wanted over $20,000!!!) so we dove in with both feet. We bought a brand-spanking new Toyota Prius. Yep, a hybrid. We don’t plug it in or anything weird. It has battery that charges when you drive, and it uses the battery in conjunction with the gas motor. I love her (50-53mpg’s will do that to you).

Here she is:

I call her Penelope.

Beyond the Boo-boo’s

We recently had a bit of a health scare at our house. Our oldest son had an appendectomy. Seems like no big deal, right? How many times have you heard someone had this procedure and you dismissed it because it wasn’t major surgery?

I admit I have been dismissive in the past too. I tend to rank surgeries by the length of the hospital stay or how life-threatening the condition that prompted the surgery. Before you decide I’m a total monster I should tell you I pray for the patients and caregivers, check on their progress, and pitch in to do what I can to make convalescing less taxing. It’s the time after the doctor released the patient and before they have returned to their normal self I find a bit perplexing.

We’re pretty private folks at my house. (Well, three of us are; that’s a story for another day.) Once we’ve put in the mandatory “here are all the pertinent details of the condition” time, we like to pop back under the radar. Suffering in silence is an art form. I firmly believe there are people on each end of the spectrum who could benefit from a good lesson in the finer points.

My paternal grandmother broke her wrist once. No biggy, just working in her garden, tripped, and snap. What did she do? After noticing the protruding bone she grabbed her hand and pulled. Snap again, all set. She wrapped it up and didn’t even tell Grandpa! If one of my aunts hadn’t noticed it on her regular visit no one would have been the wiser.

My grandmother’s case was extreme. I cannot imagine having a broken bone and not letting the whole world know. {Note the earlier post chronicling my mid-foot sprain: Klutsy Much?} I won’t bring up stories of people who are exactly the opposite, but all of us have acquaintances who tell us too much information about their health; to the point of being completely awkward.

What does this have to do with my son? He’s back at school after missing over a week. Judging from the outward signs, he’s all better. However, he is still very tired and sore. He has lost ten pounds, has dark circles under his eyes, and is in serious need of a haircut. His doctor doesn’t want him to drive yet or even lift five pounds. He’s returning to end of course exams, given on make-up days (during other class periods, missing even more assignments) with no review, because he was unable to attend school on the official three days of review and two testing days. He is much too stoic to tell his teachers he is overwhelmed and seriously concerned about getting behind in his pre-calc/trig class. Instead he will duck under the radar and trudge on.

Here’s my dilemma: Do I shout it from the rooftops that my baby has just had surgery and is far to fragile to continue at this pace or do I let him be the man-in-training and do things his way and respect his privacy and desire for things to return to normal? It is a constant balancing act.

I drive him to school; carry his book bag to and from the building (it is now even heavier because of the make-up work); make sure he schedules time to meet with his teachers for catch up sessions; and “remind” him that it is really important to eat lunch even when he isn’t hungry because his body is trying to heal AND not to forget to use the hand sanitizer…

This transition from little boy to responsible adult seems fairly effortless for my son. It’s hard for me. While I’m so proud of the teenager he has become, I miss the days when I could fix his boo-boo’s with a big ‘ol Star Wars Band-Aid and a kiss.

The Comfort of Lists

ImageThis is the time of year I dread the most; a new year, time for new beginnings, a fresh start, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (said in my best “Yul Brynner”). It only reminds me of all the unfinished tasks from the previous year.

You see, I am a list maker.

Some lists never make it to paper or laptop. They are mere mental notes that get checked off after looking at a particular object for the gajillionth time and thinking, “I can’t look at that another day!!” like the Home Interiors mirror, circa 1992, hanging by my front door. It mocked me daily with its outdated sage, emerald, burgundy, and mauve flowers jumping off the frame and being all clashy. {Gah.} I painted it black and added a touch of bronze antiqueing and have loved it ever since.

There are lists of big jobs I really hope to accomplish but doubt I will, and small jobs that get checked off as quickly as they are added without any fanfare or notice from the other occupants of our home.

I think I have an addiction to lists. A perfect example is my new Microsoft OneNote “notebook” just for shopping lists (syncs with my phone so I always have it!!). The main sections are split into everyday shopping, church nursery, and gifts. The “pages” are divided by store (Walmart, Sam’s) and type of shopping (farm/pet, office supply, gift ideas). I know the average person would find this totally overwhelming. It brings me great comfort.

I think God must pat me on the head and laugh. All the lists in the world will not prepare me for tomorrow like a little time spent in prayer and Bible reading. I was born a list-y, so I know God understands. I know moderation is key. Oh! I could make a list of all the times God changed everything so my lists were useless. Too much?

The Crazy Aunt

Every family has one. You know the one I mean. The crazy aunt who gives the weird gifts. The one who strikes fear in the hearts of her nieces and nephews because they know the next package could contain the worst gift know to man. (Be honest, you just had a flashback, didn’t you?)

As much as it pains me to say it, I fear I have slipped into that role. Even worse, I am the crazy aunt who knits.

It gives me great satisfaction to give carefully chosen and lovingly created gifts. Unfortunately, the guys at my house aren’t big yarn fans. I’ve made a few scarves, hats, and socks for them in the past but this year they didn’t have a single request so I took out my creative frustrations on my dear, sweet nieces. (Sorry gals.)

Please understand I had the best intentions and I only made items I would wear myself. (You should know I am 43 years old and they are not.) As I carefully wrapped each exquisite masterpiece, that nagging little voice got louder and louder until there was no denying what it was trying to convey. “I AM that aunt.”

If you get a cowl, slouch hat, or scarf from me in the future rest assured the pattern was chosen for you, the color is one I think makes you look positively radiant, and the yarn is one that feels like bliss as it slides through my fingers and off the knitting needles. Please remember this and know I will still love you as you take it directly to Goodwill. It really is okay. Really.

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