Friday, August 28, 2009

1st Week of School is Over and we are still speaking

homeschoolImage by foreversouls via Flickr

We survived our first week of homeschooling for this year. I threw some tough stuff at Dakota this first week because I'm trying to evaluate how much he can handle and what level he's at in some areas...I must admit he surprised me. He surpassed my expectations.

This is my 8th year of homeschooling him. Next year he'll be in 9th grade. So far he is still saying he wants to stay home and continue to be homeschooled, but there are times when I feel like he would rather be in school with kids his age now that he is getting older. I am trying to make sure he is adequately prepared to go to high school next year if that is the direction we choose to take.

I am very pleased with how this first week went!
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

How He Loves

I've been hearing this song on the radio a lot lately. This is one of those songs that just makes me want to lift my arms and praise the Lord! I LOVE this song! Hope it blesses you as much as it does me. Lyrics are below the song.

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves

And we are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Should have called her Marley

Have you read the book Marley & Me? It's a true story about a family's journey with their pet...a yellow lab who destroys everything! The book was made into a movie last year but the movie just couldn't capture all of the humor from the book. There were too many funny anecdotes to shove into a 2 hour movie!

We've had a black lab named Jet for almost 7 years. I couldn't ask for a better dog. I could not relate to anything that was said about the dog in the book because Jet is such a perfect dog. He has been easy to train from the very beginning and minds so well.

Then comes that day in October 2008 when my husband decided he wanted to get another dog and we brought home this little devil jewel of a dog...Raven. I now completely understand what the author of Marley & Me was writing about!!

Praise the Lord she's not a full-blooded Labrador and she's not a BIG dog like Jet! We think she is mixed with pointer because of some of her characteristics and she is very small and petite. She hasn't grown much at all in the last few months so I guess she's at her full height/weight.

I could write a book about her antics and the things she has destroyed in the last 10 months around here! One of us better not dare go outside without taking her with us. She has a path she runs from room to room checking out each window looking for us...and she's crying and whining the whole time. In my room she has to jump up on my bed. Our bed is one of those really tall beds and she can almost clear the thing with one leap (like a mountain goat!!) But Heaven help whoever is laying on the bed when she decides to jump up on it to look out the window, she has no problem landing right smack on a person's body and it feels none too good.

She sleeps in Dakota's bed every night. She wakes up around 4:00 am and starts scratching on his door to get out. Either Greg or myself will let her outside to take care of her business and then she comes and gets in our bed...on MY feet. For the next 2 hours I have to fight with her and wrestle with my covers and fight for space on my side of the bed. She has a pen we can put her in (her doggy timeout pen we call it) but if we were to put here in there at that time of night/early morning she would cry for 2 hours! I have never had a dog so stubborn and strong willed!

Recently she has taken to chasing frogs and skinks around the back yard. She caught a toad behind our grill the other day before I could stop her. Greg grabbed her chain and made her drop it and I guess the toad had emitted something gross because she kept spitting and making blech blech sounds for the longest time! HAHA, it was so funny! She ran out to the birdbath, jumped up and started drinking water out of the birdbath. Do you think that was enough to stop her from chasing that toad? NO!! Everytime we let her out, she runs behind the grill and around and around it looking for that stupid toad. Ahhhhhh, I need patience with this dog!
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bird Feeders

Next weekend will be one year of being in our house!! Yeah!! Shortly after we moved in, Greg surprised me one weekend when I went to visit Tina in GA by putting up a bird feeder for me in the back yard. Now I have three!
I love to get up every morning, open the blinds and watch all the birds flying back and forth between the bird feeders, the fence and the trees. When I'm really lucky I'll catch one or two taking a bath in my birdbath I put out there as well.
We have so many varieties of birds that come into the yard in varying sizes and colors - they are beautiful! I had to take these pictures through my windows hence the reason they are so fuzzy.
I was having a real problem with squirrels getting into the large feeder until I started purchasing safflower seed instead of bird food with sunflower seeds in it...the squirrels don't care for the safflower seed but the birds tear through it - they LOVE it!

Another deterrent that's helped with the squirrels is Raven - my little hunter dog! Haha, I'm so evil. If I happen to see a squirrel in the back yard or getting close to my bird feeders I call Raven to the back door and get her excited by telling her "Go get 'em Raven!!" She's literally doing circles in the air by the time I open the door and let her out and she takes off through the yard after the squirrels. It's hilarious watching the squirrels trying to get away from her and her guarding them! Ahhh, it's the little things in life isn't it?

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Toonful Tuesday

I love these little cartoons and I've gotten away from doing them on a weekly basis, but I wanted to bring them back again. I think the artist who comes up with these is very talented and I would like to share his work with you.

When we show love to our neighbors, we become like a love letter to them from Jesus.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Greg and I went away for the weekend about a month ago. We drove an 1 1/2 away to a motel on the beach just for some much needed downtime.

On the way to the beach on Friday evening, we were rear-ended in a 3 vehicle accident. It was 5:00 and the traffic was very congested. Greg had just started taking off from a stop and I heard brakes squealing from somewhere behind us. I was just getting these words out of my mouth "What in the heck..." when we heard the boom from the truck hitting the truck behind us, then we FELT the bam from that truck hitting our truck.

Praise God our vehicle only suffered about $1500 damage and it took a couple of days to repair but that's all good. When the accident first happened my neck instantly hurt. I knew it was whiplash and I knew what I needed to do...since we had an accident 4 years ago and I had whiplash much more severe then and went through months of therapy for neck and shoulder injuries. I declined the ride to the hospital in an ambulance because I was not about to get strapped down to that backboard for the next 4 hours and sit in an ER waiting on Xrays just to tell me I had whiplash. I promised the paramedic I would go to the ER if any other symptoms appeared but assured her we were continuing on our mini-vacation.

The whole time they were talking to me, Greg was walking around fine. As the night went on though, he realized his back was starting to hurt. All night Friday night he lay awake unable to sleep because he was in pain. His pain intensified throughout the weekend and he could not sleep at all so we came home first thing Sunday morning with the intention of him going to the doctor (Urgent Care.) Once we got home though, all he wanted to do was sleep...he was he took a couple of muscle relaxers which knocked him out and he slept until the next morning.

Over the last couple of weeks he has had xrays, an MRI and a bone scan done...diagnosis - bulging discs in his back. Pain management doctor and chiropractor are taking care of him now. Wish he could heal as fast as our truck got fixed :-(

Friday, August 14, 2009

My baby is 13

My youngest child has turned 13...yesterday was his birthday. He's now a teenager. Dakota has such a special place in my heart, not only because he is the "baby" of the family but because he joined our blended family into one. I always felt like he helped bring the other 5 children together because EVERYBODY loves Dakota. He's a great son, brother and uncle to his niece and nephews.

Dakota is kind and tender-hearted. He is a people-pleaser (which isn't always a good thing and something I have to constantly instruct him on.) But he is a leader too and makes strong, independent choices when faced with difficult situations. I am so proud of him and the fine young man he is turning into. He's been asked to be a leader in many situations at church and elsewhere because others recognize these characteristics in him as well.

So, even though I'm a day late with this my sweet young man, I just wanted to publicly say I love you with all my heart and I wish you the very best birthday (and I know you are going to have fun this evening at the go-cart track!)
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Working, working, working

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you know I have a daughter living in Hawaii. She's married to a military guy and they have 3 little boys. They are waiting to find out anyday now where their next duty station is going to be and we are all hoping and praying it's going to be here in town where I live. She hasn't lived in the same town as us the last 4-5 years so this would be a wonderful change.

My son-in-law has to go out on his ship the first of December and stay out for four months. He will miss two of his son's birthdays and Christmas. Felicia was really down thinking about spending all of that time without her husband and family around...especially through the holidays and birthdays.

Greg and I decided we are going to go out there to Hawaii this year for the holidays. We've made a plan and we are working towards it. I've been trying to pick up more work in merchandising to pay for the plane tickets and I've been totally and completely amazed at all the work that's been coming my way. God is so good!! I am so thankful and feel blessed beyond words. I love the work I'm doing and I can not wait to get back to Hawaii to see my precious grandbabies!!
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Friday, August 7, 2009


Blue diamond-shaped sign used to designate hik...Image via Wikipedia

My family and I have spent many vacations in the mountains and we absolutely love them. One of mine and my husband’s favorite vacation spots is Gatlinburg, Tenn. While there we like to go hiking throughout the mountains.

This brings me to a goal I use to have when I was younger. Do you know about the Appalachian Trail? Well, the trail stretches over 14 states, from Georgia to Maine, and it is approximately 2,178 miles. Many people have trekked across this trail and I used to want to do this. One of my daughters even wants to do this with her husband one day.

You can visit the starting point of the trail in Georgia and they have shops that sell everything you might need for the trip, such as food, book bags, blankets, etc. Something very important for a trip like this are hiking shoes! You want to make sure when you hike that your feet are comfortable the whole time.

This website offers a variety of different types of hiking boots available- mid-weight, heavyweight, water-resistant, waterproof. They have hiking shoes and boots for men, women, and children.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

We the People

I have tried to keep from expressing my political views/opinions on my blog because frankly I have a very strong opinion of our current administration and what's happening within our government right now...and I'm not here to spark debates or arguments. We are all "still" entitled to our opinions. But with that said - a friend sent this to me today and I have to say I LOVED THIS! I know it was made about 4 months ago and is probably old news to some of you, but it was new to me. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did....