Thursday, June 30, 2005

Get Busy!

I made good progress clearing off my desk this morning, which had been piling up for 2 weeks. I have also made a good start unpacking boxes of books from my conventions. I have to display my own books in my booth, so now that the season is over I need to get everything back on the shelves where they belong. I have scheduled a Sonlight open house here next Thursday so that really gives me an incentive to get stuff organized quickly. That's a good thing.

I need to start a list of things-to-do-before-the-family-reunion now that the convention trips are behind me. Let's see...
  • publish and mail the July Family Chronicles
  • make a Power Point of our digital pictures to show everyone on the laptop
  • decide on which scrapbooks to take and see how much updating I can fit in
  • plan lessons for youth meetings so I don't have to spend every Sunday afternoon doing that
  • clean and declutter around here so we'll be ready to paint and do some outside maintenance in August before time to start up school again
  • work on the 3RsPlus reading books
  • oh... and work 20 hours a week whenever I can fit it in!

Why am I sitting here yakking? I should get up and get busy!

Later!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Totally Random Thoughts

I am beginning to wonder if life will ever slow down. Trying to wear several hats at once is just utterly exhausting. I think it would help me feel less stressed if we could get caught up on some things around here... and then hopefully get into a "maintenance" routine. Maybe this weekend? We thought about trying to go camping for the holiday weekend, but I think we've decided against that. To be honest, as fun and relaxing as camping sounds, it almost sounds better to stay home and work on getting caught up. Then maybe we could make some homemade ice cream or something like that for the 4th. We can see the city fireworks from our yard... yes, they're a mile away, but it beats fighting the crowd!

An older couple in our church has a son who is an Army chaplain. He's been on "combat deployment" (is that what they call it? I think that's what he said...) to Iraq 5 times! He and his family are currently visiting his folks, so they were at church tonight. Our pastor invited him to share about his experiences. It was really interesting. Sounds like Army chaplains are very similar to regular pastors, but of course, have different issues to deal with. I was just amazed at how free they are to witness to and pray with the soldiers. What about "separation of church and state"? I mean, the whole fiasco about not being able to display the 10 Commandments on government property, taking "under God" out of the Pledge, not allowing prayer in schools... but yet the government (military) pays for Christian chaplains? I don't get it!! I'm glad for them... but I don't get it. Inconsistency drives me crazy! Actually, I think I do get it... in times of crisis Americans do know where to turn. They make noises about being tolerant and politically correct, but when something like 9-11 happens they all flock to the churches and solemnly remind each other to pray! Same thing with the military, I s'pose. When our soldiers are in "harm's way" the things that really matter suddenly come to the forefront.

Hmmm... well, I thought I had more ideas to ramble about, but my random-thought-generator seems to have suddenly gone on the fritz. I think I hear the bed calling my name...

More later...

Monday, June 27, 2005

I'm Tired!

I'm tired! What's that essay about how many people there are in the world, and how many are actually doing all the work... and it finally comes down to leaving only 2 people to do the work... and you're reading the article so I have to do it all? I read that some time ago. Thought it was cute... Anyway, that's kinda the way I feel right now. We've been traveling a *lot* lately... which is fun... but rather exhausting, too. Now I'm just ready for a *real* break. Wonder if it will work out for us to go camping this weekend? That always refreshes me... just getting away from all the demands and enjoying nature.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Left Behind Kids series

We've been listening to the Left Behind Kids books in the car as we travel. They are really more "teen" stories than they are "kids"... the characters are middle school/high school age kids. We are almost finished with the second set. We have the first 3 sets so far. I'll have to see about getting the others. There are 6 sets of CDs or tapes, I think. The public library has the first set. CBD has the second set on cassette for $1.99... and I downloaded the third set from Audible.com. It's taken us awhile to get around to listening to them... partly because of the maturity of the subject matter, but they have been good. They present the message of salvation repeatedly throughout, and talk about having the right motives for accepting Christ... because you truly want to have a relationship with Him, not just for what you can get or to avoid hell. And, of course, there is edge-of-your-seat excitement.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Convention season is over!

Whew! Convention season is over! Now summer can begin! LOL!

Actually, we have enjoyed traveling to the various conventions. My workshops have been well-received and I've met a lot of neat people. It's just draining...

I have to laugh, though. Tonight after we packed up the booth and came back to the hotel room, I collapsed on the bed with a huge sigh of relief. My DH walked in and said, "Couldn't we just do this for a living year-round?" I laughed and said, "Homeschool conventions don't go on year-round!" I think he was half-serious!

I picked up an excellent book this week: Debi Pearl's Created to Be His Help Meet. I had heard a lot of good things about it and it was available at a good price so I bought it. During slow times this week-end I read it. Some really *good* stuff in it. My DH paid me the sweetest compliment, though, when I told him I had bought a book on being a good wife. "You don't need a book like that!" LOL! "Thank you, dear, but I can name several areas off the top of my head that need improvement!"

Reading the book helped me realize anew how much influence my wonderful mother has on the kind of wife I am... Mother has always respected and honored Daddy. Like the rest of us, he's not perfect... but as a child I always thought Mother thought he was! Isn't that the way it should be?

We're taking the "scenic" route home tomorrow. Western Montana is all scenic... even from the interstate, but we thought we'd try some back roads. We'll get to see some more Lewis & Clark country! That should be interesting. I just need to remember to take a half-tablet of Dramamine! (Enough to keep me from getting car sick, but not enough to make me drowsy.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Summer fun

I took the kids to soccer this morning. No... I haven't turned into a soccer mom yet! LOL! Another homeschool family in the area has organized a "soccer camp" for kids ages 6-13 to meet once a week this summer to learn the rules and just play some scrimmage games. It's not real teams or anything like that. And it doesn't actually meet all summer. Just this week and next, and then the month of August. Anyway, I thought it would be worthwhile. Be a good way for the kids to get some exercise, learn something, and play with other kids. I wondered if they would like it... They did!

They've been begging to "play in the water" for the last 2 days. It is finally warming up enough here that they think it's "just so hot" that playing in the water sounds fun. We don't have a pool or anything but they like to get wet with the hose. It's just such a mess! Soggy dripping clothes... (I won't let 'em wear swimsuits in the yard because our yard is *very* public) ...and just now I was informed that water leaked into the basement and is now all over the floor in their room! I don't *need* this! *SIGH*

We leave on Thursday morning for my last homeschool convention of the season, in Billings, Montana. Naturally I have a lot yet to do to get ready to go. Why does life always have to be so hectic?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Summer projects

Wow! What a weekend! We left for Seattle on Thursday. I was so utterly exhausted that I felt sick all day. But I slept like a log in the motel that night and was much more myself the next day. I was very grateful for that! The Seattle homeschool convention was great! Good attendance and a good turn-out for my workshop. I have one more homeschool convention in Billings, Montana this weekend and then I will be done for the year. I really enjoy doing them, but 8 is enough for one year!

My next project is to help get some great little readers I've discovered back in print. Right now they are only partially available in digital format. We hope to have them available in print by the end of the summer.

How does my garden grow? Well, my red petunias in the hanging pots are happily blooming away. I can't quite figure out why the purple and white ones aren't blooming yet. Hopefully they will soon. I've had a handful of sweet, ripe strawberries off my 3 strawberry plants that are growing in the wheelbarrow. The grape tomato plants aren't looking too great. Maybe they need some Miracle Grow. My prettiest flower right now is my Martha Washington geranium. I'll have to take some pictures soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Random Foolishness

I always think of things to blog about when I'm out and about, and not at my computer, of course. Then when I sit down at the keyboard I never can remember what any of them were. Wonder if I start just typing "stream of consciousness" if it will come to me? (Isn't that what you call it when you just write whatever pops into your head?)

I went in Safeway today to pick up a few things. I wanted to get a tube of Mentholatum to put in my purse because my nose has just been really dry lately. Not sure why, but I thought Mentholatum might help. And, no, Vicks Rub wouldn't do. I used to think they were the same, but they're not. Well, Safeway had several different sizes and variations of Vicks Rub, but no Mentholatum! I thought that was very weird. I asked the pharmacist about it. She said that apparently they quit making it because she couldn't get it any more. How strange is that? Mentholatum has been around forever, hasn't it? I was in a different grocery store later and checked there, and lo-and-behold, they had it! So I bought 2 tubes, just in case this is leftover stock and they won't be able to get any more. Hmmm... I just Googled Mentholatum and found http://www.mentholatum.com/usa.php. Doesn't look like they've gone out of business to me. I don't know what Safeway's problem is!

Hey! I managed to get rid of 8 boxes full of books and other miscellaneous school-related stuff in the past week or so, at 2 used-curriculum sales! I made about $125 for my efforts. I was pretty pleased. And lest you fill sorry for me, parting with all those great books... don't worry! It hardly made a dent in the massive library of books and homeschooling supplies still inhabiting this house!

I think I'm going to start sneaking a few out of the house one-by-one by participating in www.bookcrossing.com if I can figure out some good places to just leave a book lying around where someone else might pick it up and enjoy it. I've registered a few to leave in geocaches, but haven't had any reports back on them yet.

Tomorrow night we're having a graduation service and reception for the 3 boys in our youth group who graduated from high school this year. We are going to make homemade ice cream for the "party" tomorrow afternoon. Apparently my kids don't remember making home-made ice cream before. We used to have an electric freezer but the motor was ruined in a flood we had in our basement years ago. May have even been before the kids were born, I don't remember. But we're going to borrow an old-fashioned hand-crank freezer. That will be fun!

Speaking of the Class of '05 reminds me of something I wanted to comment on... when we get to the year 2010 are we going to start saying "twenty-ten" rather than "two-thousand-ten"? Probably we will, since it's one less syllable. For this decade most people say "two thousand five", of course, or maybe just "o-five". Either is okay with me. What bugs me to death, though, is the people who say "two-o-five" like it's the year 205! Or even funnier, is when people write it 20005! They have to write out 2000 and then just tack the 5 on the end!

Okay. I guess that's enough random foolishness for one night.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Geocaching

We had the most fantastic day Saturday! The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We packed a cooler, hooked up the GPS to my laptop in the SUV, and took off for a day of Geocaching. We headed up to Lake Pend Oreille... over around the east side of the lake and into Montana. It was an all-day trip and we hit 10 caches.

#1. Sunnyside Up. What a pretty area! We had a time deciding which was the "eagle tree" but we finally found the cache.

#2. Pack River Flats. What a beautiful view! Water level was awfully close to the cache, but it was still dry inside.

#3. Bridge Out? My favorite cache of the day! We saw a moose! We have lived here for 7 years... and this is the first time I've been close enough to a moose in the wild to get a picture of it.

#4. Fountain. What an interesting spot. We also wondered why the fountain was here... and enjoyed the view.

#5. Crossroads of Old and New. Had our picnic lunch here.

#6. Boo-Boo Cache. A very cool location near a historic Ranger Station.

#7. Big Eddy.

#8. Spring Creek.

#9. Ross Creek Giants. My second favorite cache of the day. In fact, it is right up there with the Bridge Out one. The cedar forest was like entering fairy land! The kids thought it was a great playground... and we expected to meet up with a hobbit just any minute!

#10. Thompson Pass.