Monday, June 30, 2008

FOR June 30, 2008

Outside My Window...
a beautiful sunny day, lots of pretty zinnias in my flowerbed

I am thinking...
about what needs to be done to complete supper and what I need to buy at the grocery store to finish the meal. How I really don't want to go to the grocery store : )

I am thankful for...
Rachel being back home after two weeks away at a summer dance intensive. Thankful that she had a great experience, made many new friends, learned from excellent instructors, danced beautifully Saturday afternoon.

From the kitchen...
I smell chicken cooking in the crockpot that I will use to make my brother's recipe for jambalaya tonight. I'll make a green salad and French bread to go along with it. I love this recipe - it makes a bunch so I always freeze 1/2 of it for later.

I am wearing...
Navy blue shorts, "Paint the Park Pink" t-shirt, bare feet

I am creating...
a plan to finish the Eagle Scout scrapbook later this week.

I am going...
to the grocery store soon. Young Women's Cancer Support Group, later this evening.

I am reading...
My Bible.

I am hoping...
to get most of the laundry caught up today. Rachel did laundry once at camp but most everything needs to be washed. Nothing like smelling like a musty dorm! To persuade Allan to get a haircut this week

I am hearing...
the dryer, the air compressor that just kicked on, the radio, the ticking of my cuckoo clock

Around the house...
I am working to finish the laundry; still trying to declutter

One of my favorite things...
Lots of hugs from my "tiny dancer" making up for the lack of hugs in the past two weeks

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
A visit to a friend's new home for lunch and "catching up"
Cookout and fireworks on the 4th

Here's a picture I am sharing with you:

Thanks to Peggy for hosting the Daybook each week!

Monday, June 23, 2008


This photo is from 2007 Nutcracker
Rachel is having a great time at the OU School of Dance, SummerWind intensive. She is taking classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, pilates, and flamenco. She really loves her modern class and says she can't wait for us to see her performance on Saturday. She's not real crazy about the flamenco. I could have probably told you that to start - it's out of her "box" : ) She told us she is making lots of new friends (translates into she will be wanting lots of computer time when she gets home). The girls (and guys) had a short day Saturday and then were taken to the mall - lots of fun shopping, even got some surprises for one of the girls whose birthday is this week. Sunday was a day of rest and swimming. Today it was back to class. I can't wait to see her end of camp performance on Saturday. I really can't wait to have her back at home ; ) It's a little on the quiet side with her gone. She sounds all grown up when she calls, even when I detect a bit of homesickness and she says "I miss you"! I can't wait to remind her in a few weeks that she missed me - ha ha! Oh, to have growing teenagers. Life is good!

Blessed and Highly Favored

I attended New Student Orientation with Allan Thursday. He is officially enrolled in 16 hours for the fall semester!! Allan wanted to get all morning classes so he could get finished with class and then go to his job in the afternoons. Well, he succeeded in just that, and did I mention that this was the last regular registration day - anything after last Thursday is considered late registration? (Long story as to why we were registering on the final day of regular registration but let's just say I am glad we got it done.) I told him he is blessed and highly favored!! On the schedule for fall: American National Government, Intro to Sociology, Survey of Calculus, Freshman English I, Foundations of Business, and Planning for Success.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Trusting in the Lord

Tomorrow we are taking Rachel to a 2-week summer dance intensive. She is excited but at the same time, a bit nervous about being gone for 2 weeks and not knowing any of the other girls, yet. This is an awesome opportunity for her to grow and mature in her dancing as well as in life in general. I am placing my trust in the Lord to watch over and protect her while she is there and to help us both with the feelings we are having about our separation. We both know this is a good thing but it will be hard to leave my "baby" on campus for 2 weeks. I haven't ever been away from her for this long. While I am sad about her being gone, I am also planning constructive ways to spend my alone time. I am planning to practice some more of the organizing skills I learned at Mom's RENEW last month : ) I want to give my house a really good deep cleaning in places I didn't get to before graduation company came. (I would really love to get some paint and cover up my paneled walls but I think that may be a bit too ambitious for right now.) I want to take time to read a book - that's one thing that has been hard since going through chemotherapy - I can't concentrate like I once did. I tend to pick up a book, read a little bit, then put it down, and never finish it. I bought a neat Bible study book on character for Rachel and I to use for next school year and I want to look through it some more. I also have a writing instruction book I bought and hope to look through it more in depth so I will be familiar with it when it is time to write some lesson plans for fall.

As this week comes to a close, I am thankful that my two recent doctor appointments have been good and had good results. I don't have to see another doctor until the end of summer, after I get to spend a week with my sisters in North Carolina!!!! I am also thankful for Rachel's experience at church camp last weekend. She had a great time with her friends but most importantly she had a life changing experience with God! The theme of camp was "Breaking Rank" and as she says - "I broke rank".

Casting for Recovery

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending a Casting for Recovery retreat for breast cancer survivors at Gaston's on the White River. There were 14 participants plus the staff. There are no words to fully express what the weekend meant to me. I spent 3 days with ladies who were total strangers on Friday, yet, when I left there Sunday afternoon, there was an unforgettable bond with this awesome group of women. We learned the basics of fly fishing to help us heal physically but there is also a mental/emotional healing aspect as well. We spent Saturday learning all about fly fishing from some top notch fly fishing instructors! We also had a couple of medical presentations that were very informative. We practiced our casting a couple of times during the day. During our free time in the afternoon, we were free to swim, learn how to tie flies, practice casting with our instructors, or just take a nap : ) Sunday was our big day!! Each participant was matched with our own personal fishing guide. These awesome guides gave up their Sunday to serve as a guide. Imagine my surprise when I was introduced to my guide and found that he is from my town, which means he not only gave up his Sunday, but also drove 3+ hours to the retreat location. His wife served as the official photographer for Sunday as well. I know of this couple because we have kids the same age who were in school together for 1st - 5th grade. Matt was an awesome guide!! He had a fly rod rigged and ready to go as soon as we got down to the river. We caught 6 rainbow trout (landed 4 and had 2 LDR's - long distance release, ha ha!) in the 3 hours we were on the river. There was nothing to compare what it was like being outfitted in waders, boots, and fishing vest and fishing in the cold river -- I am forever "hooked". After fishing we had lunch (Sunday brunch @ Gaston's - yum!) with our guides and they were presented with a t-shirt and certificate to remember the weekend. The participants of the retreat were each given an awesome fly rod and pink reel with a case. This is a special fly rod, made by Temple Fork Outfitters to benefit Casting for Recovery. We were all blown away by the generosity of so many people who made the weekend possible. We came home with not only our fly rods with pink reels, but with many flies tied by many different people, lots of gear and goodies, and most of all, lots of wonderful memories and lots of healing in many areas of our lives. I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to attend the retreat and I am so thankful that I stepped out of my "box" and spent a weekend with "strangers" who are no more. I am hoping that the reunion that is in the works for the Little Red River in the fall comes to fruition and that I am able to be there and spend more time with these awesome women, sharing and fishing. What a weekend!!

Edit: I forgot to mention that the fishing was all made possible thanks to the Corp. of Engineers who turned off the generators at Bull Shoals Lake for the morning. They have been running 24/7 since May 28 with all eight gates open. See what I mean about the generosity???

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Busy Week

June gets off to a busy start with some appointments this week and a couple of ballet classes for Rachel. Rachel is going to youth camp with our church Thursday - Sunday. This will be her first year attending "youth" camp. She is so excited about going. I pray it will be a great time for her spiritually and that she will have lots of fun as well.

I was chosen to attend a breast cancer survivors retreat "Casting for Recovery" next weekend. It will be at Gaston's on the White River. Robert and I flew to Gaston's for lunch (they have a grass airstrip) one time several years back. It is a beautiful setting! There are 14 survivors chosen to attend the retreat. It will be a weekend of fly fishing instruction and networking with other survivors. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn something new and meet other breast cancer survivors.

My Grandma moves to an assisted living center tomorrow. I was really sad when I learned that she would have to move from her own home but I have some friends who have given some great encouragement and insight to me this week. I know it is the best thing for her health and well being but it is sad that she is no longer able to stay alone in her own home. The good thing is that she gets to take her dog with her and I know that will be great comfort to her. So, if you read my blog, please say a prayer for my grandma this week : )


The month of May passed way too quickly! (but don't they all as we get older?) I spent the first half of the month driving Rachel to "Cinderella" rehearsals and Spring Dance Demonstration rehearsals. Our official ballet season is over but I use the term "over" lightly : ) Rachel auditioned for a position in WAB Company and has earned a spot in the Senior Company for the coming year! She had a week off and now is back to taking an *optional* class twice a week to stay ready for the 2-week summer intensive she will attend at OU. Allan has been busy working at his job and working on his project - his 1979 convertible Super Beetle. It goes to the paint shop tomorrow - finally!! After it is painted he has to let the paint cure for 3 weeks before he takes the car to the "top" shop for a new convertible cover. While the paint cures, he will put the engine back in and some of that type work. He can't really put his seats and interior in until he has a top back on. Hopefully by the time the fall semester starts at school he will have it ready to go. He attends new student orientation at the college later this month to register for classes. It's been a busy month but it's been a good month.


Wow! I can't believe it was a month ago that I tried to do some catching up on my blog. Obviously, I didn't finish!! Today I want to post about Allan's graduation - what a great day it was!!

Allan participated in a graduation ceremony with our homeschool support group. There were 8 graduates who decided to participate in the ceremony. It was a great group of kids - 4 girls, 4 guys. Many people will never attend a graduation ceremony that is so special and honors the graduates in such a personal way. Months of planning went into the ceremony and reception that followed and it was all so worth the effort of all the families. Six of the eight grads worked together on a song. One of the girls wrote the music when they found there was no sheet music for the piece they wanted to use. Not only did she write her piano part but also for the bass and added in a violin. It was awesome!!! Each graduate then presented a slideshow they had prepared highlighting their lives. At the conclusion of the slideshow, the parents and the graduate came forward and the dad's presented the diploma after saying a few words. The mom's got to move the tassel from one side to the other and then the graduates surprised the mom's and presented each mom with a rose - I told you - these are great kids! Two of the graduates dad's are pastors and each gave a short message to the graduates. This was followed by a time of family prayer. We held a reception in the fellowship hall of the church after the ceremony. It was decorated beautifully (the graduates chose the decorations and helped set it all up). Cake and punch were served and families had a great time of fellowship. Each graduate had a personal table set up in the fellowship hall that had memorabilia from their school years on display. It was a wonderful afternoon of honoring the accomplishments of our students.

Allan plans to attend UA Fort Smith majoring in Business Administration. He has accepted a 4- year Scholarship of Academic Distinction. We are very proud of Allan's accomplishments and thankful for God's leading us to homeschool Allan beginning in sixth grade. We give all glory to Him for his faithfulness to lead us and guide us just where we needed to go.


Allan earned his Eagle Scout rank this past spring. While we were celebrating his graduation from high school, we decided to have his Eagle Scout Court of Honor while some of our family was in town. I am not sure how wise it was to plan 2 "big" events within 3 days but we did it and in the end, all went well! Allan started his scouting as a Tiger Cub in first grade. It was the year our church started a scout troop/pack. Robert was trained as a leader and served as Tiger Cub Coach that very first year. As Allan progressed through the ranks of cub scouts and then a boy scout, Robert followed him every step of the way. It was our goal to support Allan in his quest for Eagle rank but Robert had never planned to be in scouting with Allan all 12 years! However, as the need for leaders never seems to go away, he decided to stay involved and make sure that our troop stayed active. Many thanks go to all the dads who sacrifice their time to help these young men mature and reach their goals!!

We are so proud of Allan for staying the course even in those times that he wanted to give up. He persevered and accomplished the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn! Allan's Eagle Scout Service Project was trail improvement at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center. He did a great job planning his project and overseeing the work. I was proud of the maturity he showed when he had to approach businesses for donations of materials for his project - something that would have been way out of my comfort zone and I am sure was somewhat out of his. All of the necessary materials were donated - lumber, concrete, slag, telephone poles, even some of the food for the lunch we prepared for the volunteers on the "big" work day!

Scouting has been an important part of Allan's life throughout the past 12 years. He has learned so much through service projects in the community, earning merit badges, attending summer camp, and building and racing pinewood derby cars. I am thankful for the opportunities he has had through scouting and hope that one day he will have a son of his own to guide through scouting.