Home and Family, Homeschooling

Plumbers use jackhammers. Who knew?

Life is a constantly changing opportunity to play the game of “Associations.”  You know the one I mean- when I say a word, you say the first thing that comes to mind (Christmas/tree, spring/garden, birthday/cake, etc.).  I am learning a new group of associations.  Fascinating.

Plumber/jackhammer.  Not generally the first thought I would have had, but I am so grateful it is true.  How else would they get to the collapsed cast iron pipe under my foundation?  All drains are now working properly.  YEAH!


Small children/medicine balls.  We found two of these at one of our favorite “odd lot” haunts (6 and 10 lbs. respectively), and brought them home.  What a wonderful thing!  Having the young ones roll them around, use them to get through a quick obstacle course or two, or push them in laundry baskets helps so much with large muscle use on a cold winters’ day, and gets them turned back “on” for academic time!

Penmanship/white clay.  For the eight-year-old, penmanship entails a piece of paper, a pencil, and the assigned items to write.  For the six-year-old?  Not so much.  Due to the differences in learning style and approach, he is creating clay letters and using those for word creation.  Since dyslexics see life in 3D, working with 3D letters helps him orient himself to the task at hand, and he is much more successful.  Love it!


Cleaning/joy.  During the last week, we have had the opportunity to help clear the family home following the death of my father-in-law.  The eight, six, and four year-olds were troopers and carried things up the stairs from the basement so that they could be sorted and given away.  When my sister-in-law commented on their ability to focus and work as hard as the adults, the eldest beamed at her and said, “we love to work!  Especially with Grandpa in his garden!”  And then he got back to the task at hand.  What a payday for the parents and grandparents of that little boy (who is well on his way to manhood)!

Life is full of surprises, and the unexpected can be a learning experience all its own if we are watching for it!  All these, and so many more, are a great reminder that I am not as smart as I wish I were-and that’s okay.  Someone else has it covered, and He will send the unexpected and unanticipated to us when we need it!

Home and Family, Homemaking

Three cheers for indoor plumbing!

It is cold outside. Not as cold as the mid-west and eastern parts of the United States right now, but cold enough. Days like today make me more grateful for  the simple things in life.  A working furnace.  A fully-stocked pantry.  Fuzzy socks.  And indoor plumbing.

I am currently enjoying a book about cooking and housekeeping in Britain during the 19th and early 20th centuries. While some of the procedures and methods sound almost reasonable, or even down-right quaint, much of what I am reading make me cringe!  And I feel more grateful for what I have-like indoor plumbing.  No need to choose between running out to the outhouse or using a chamber pot that I would get to clean out later.  Or worrying about having enough water inside that is fresh and potable.  Or needing to manually fill a large tub to climb into a hot bath to warm up, or soak my husband’s muscles-sore from a day’s labor.

I can run a bath, put in a load of laundry, turn on the dishwasher to clean up from a meal, fill the kettle from the tap for hot chocolate or mint tea, and even make a “pit stop” without the need to go outside or start with frigid water.

Yeah for the 21st century!

Home and Family

Count your blessings!

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.                                                                            Psalms 145:9

Most of the time I try write something in my blog that might be helpful to someone else.  Today I am writing just for me.  We have just over two weeks to the wedding of my youngest (and are three days away from the bridal shower).   Life has decided to see how much I am prepared to accept and keep moving.  Last Saturday night, I got sick; still working on getting on top of it.  (Not kinda off, not feeling icky, SICK.  Can’t hold food down.  Dizzy.  Sinuses won’t stop running.  Sleep eludes me.)  The bride has found herself without a job.  My husband was gone for two weeks  and got home just in time for me to get sick (see above).  The twins are teething…again.  We are dealing with record heat (along with everyone else).   Our wedding photographer isn’t working out causing a major scramble to find a new one.  The budget is becoming a challenge.  I STILL don’t know where Uncle David is!   And the list goes on.

As we raised our family, when life got tough we would buckle down and focus on the blessings we have.  We would make lists of why we love the people in our life.  We would post a sheet of butcher block paper on our wall and fill it with every tiny good thing we noticed.  We would each take a turn saying something positive before our nightly family prayer.  Today I am going to make a list…blog-style.  The following is my most recent “tender mercies” list:

  • My husband has a job.  And he is back in the state!
  • The entire family has a vehicle that is dependable and we don’t have to worry about getting everyone where we need to be in the next little while.
  • My entire family will be able to join us in the temple as we celebrate the marriage of my youngest to a wonderful young woman.  I am so grateful for a posterity who love the Lord!
  • Even though she was raised by her grandparents (who are now gone), the bride’s aunt has stepped in to help defray some of the costs of the big day- not the least of which the perfect dress.
  • We have a family friend (a professional photographer) who will take pictures for us at a discount because she is just cool that way!
  • We have friends from our old neighborhood who have tablecloths they will loan us that are just the right color.
  • Rain is in the forecast.
  • My daughters are in the middle of the fray with me.
  • Pinterest is a life-saver in the form of ideas and last-minute communicating.  We can get online with our helpers, show them what we want, and never have to find a large chunk of time to spend planning in the same room.
  • I got a message from an old family friend last night asking what she can do to help.  Thank heaven for wonderful people!
  • All three young ones are learning to talk.
  • We have found the final decorations and serving items for a discount or on clearance.
  • The twins are learning to give each other “high-fives” and it is one of the cutest things EVER!
  • People I haven’t seen in quite a while have been helping me find addresses for those I haven’t seen in even longer.  The only person that really matters to me that I still can’t find is my Uncle David.  Time to make more phone calls.
  • The garden is producing in spite of the craziness in the house.  Rain from heaven has kept it alive when I have been too busy to water.
  • A cool front is coming in this week.
  • Garden corn is just starting to come on.  I may live on that for the next week.
  • The bride-to-be announced that “the marriage is more important than the wedding”.   She gets it so I can stop fretting the decorations and everything else and focus on healing and shower preparations.   YEAH!
  • We have friends in our new neighborhood willing to help with cleaning, decoration, tying the quilt, baking, and anything else we need to do.
  • My head is finally clearing, and I expect to be just fine for the shower.
  • The older boys are really taking off with their academics!
  • We bottled 250 pounds of apples last year in the form of applesauce.  It is actually staying down!
  • Ultimately the Lord in charge, and my life couldn’t be in better hands!

What “tender mercies” are you seeing in your life this week?