Monday, November 2, 2009

FOR TODAY... November 2, 2009

Outside my window... a beautiful fall day with sunny blue skies, mild temperatures and a gorgeous maple tree

I am thinking... how nice it was to wake up to sunlight this morning

I am thankful for... a convicting message at church reminding me that my #1 priority should be teaching my kids to worship our Almighty God. Sometimes it's easy to let our other schoolwork take that #1 spot. Thankful it's never too late to readjust our priorities : )

I am wearing... the typical - jeans and a fall top

I am remembering... how nice it feels to wake up and get my day going early so I have time to sit and blog in the afternoon instead of running like crazy all day, trying to catch up

I am going... to Young Women's Cancer Support Group tonight with yummy desserts in hand. Tomorrow I get to stay home all day - yippee! No ballet tomorrow night and no where else I have to be.

I am reading... hoping to get to some reading I have bookmarked about vitamins and supplements

I am hoping... to have dinner with a couple of friends later in the week

On my mind... changes I need to make in my daily routine

From the learning rooms... Rachel says she is finally to the part of American History she likes - don't laugh - the wars! She said she doesn't much care for all of the exploration stuff and she's finally finished with that and moving on.

Noticing that... I need to update the background of my blog - maybe something "fall" looking

From the kitchen... brownies and a new recipe from Southern Plate, Pumpkin Crumb Cake. The Pumpkin Crumb Cake is really yummy!

Around the house... really wanting to start decluttering before the holidays! Need to get a plan of action going.

One of my favorite things... days at home

From my picture journal...

To read more daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...October 19th, 2009

Outside my window...a cool autumn evening

I am thinking... about making plans for the weekend

I am thankful for...a productive day and a fairly empty calendar for the week

I am wearing... jeans and a new fall top

I am remembering... Pastor Marty's message yesterday..."The Perfect Family". It's nice to be reminded that there is no such thing as a perfect family, so try as we might, we will never have a perfect family.

I am bed at a decent hour this week ; )

I am Bible

I am take the kids pictures this week with the beautiful fall colors as a backdrop

On my mind... planning for a possible weekend trip to Branson

From the learning rooms... American History test, Biology test, and Algebra test

Noticing that... the leaves are rapidly changing color and they are so pretty!

Pondering these words... "No perfect family exists. The idea of perfection keeps us from pursuing betterment."

From the kitchen... tonight was leftover night. Tomorrow I'm planning to bake granola and Cajun pretzels

Around the house... cleaning out Rachel's closet and dresser to see what she needs for winter

One of my favorite things~ a day spent with three friends visiting craft fairs in NW Arkansas last week. Years ago we would try to make it to the spring and fall fairs. It's been a few years since we've done it so it was that much sweeter. So thankful for those girlfriends : )

From my picture journal...
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2009
We spent the weekend at the Balloon Fiesta last weekend!

Thanks to Peggy for hosting at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...September 28, 2009

Outside my morning with blue skies

I am thinking...about cards I need to buy for a few upcoming birthdays

I am thankful for...a good night's sleep.

I am wearing...shorts, t-shirt, flip flops

I am remembering...the fun and laughter shared with Rachel and her friend, Rachel over the weekend

I am the fair this week to see Rachel's photography exhibits!

I am reading...Summer, by Karen Kingsbury; Know Who You Believe, by Paul Little

I am hoping...for a very productive week for both Rachel & I

On my mind...what comes next on my "to do" list today

From the learning room...extras this week: homework for photography class and driver's education

From the kitchen...need to bake a batch of granola and some cookies
Monday...baked ham, potato salad, baked beans recipe to try - poppy seed chicken
Wednesday...crockpot meal - ham & scalloped potatoes
Thursday...parmesan crusted tilapia
Friday...maybe broccoli ham ring?

Around the house...ironing - one of my least favorite jobs. At least I mopped over the weekend : )

One of my favorite things...fall candle scents

A picture thought I am sharing with you...
One of Rachel's entries in the fair. Picture was taken during the ice storm last winter.

For more Daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...September 14, 2009

Outside my window...another dreary, overcast day makes me realize that autumn is just around the corner.

I am's nice to be creating a Daybook Entry again after a break for summer.

I am thankful for...the blessing of friends in my life: homeschooling friends, church friends, ballet mom friends, longtime friends, and probably best of all - sister friends!

I am wearing...jeans and last year's Paint the Park Pink tee shirt.

I am remembering...what a great summer I had! I enjoyed having so much time with my sisters, brother and their families.

I am creating...this blog post for the second time - it disappeared last night when I uploaded a pictures so I'm doing my best to re-create it.

I am drive Rachel to ballet tonight and run a couple of errands while she is in class.

I am reading...I've been reading Karen Kingsbury's Redemption series, followed by her Firstborn series. I have two books left in the Firstborn series and I can't wait to read them. I checked out the previous two on Thursday and had them both finished by Sunday evening : ) This week, Rachel and I will start reading "Know Who You Believe", "Know What You Believe", and Know Why You Believe" by Paul Little as part of her schooling.

I am hoping...Allan will get his car fixed this weekend so I don't have to share a car with him another week! I'm really not trying to be selfish : ) It just makes an already crazy schedule even crazier!!

On my mind...the phone call I have to make to my health insurance company. Asking the Lord for favor : )

From the learning rooms...finally getting back in the routine. On the schedule this year: English, American Lit., American History, Biology, Spanish, Algebra I (almost completed) and then Geometry, Fine Arts/Photography Class, and Home Ec.

Noticing that...there are birds singing in my backyard this morning. They've been quiet lately. Saw a cardinal for the first time in a while.

Pondering these words...from Sunday's sermon: "Faith that works, is Faith that works"

From the kitchen...
Monday - St. Mary's Stew
Tuesday - Crockpot Layered Steak and Potatoes (thanks Kelli!)
Wednesday - Turkey Club Pizza
Thursday - Crockpot Saucy Pork Chops
Friday - work dinner @ Shogun

Around the house...a little lingering laundry and a little ironing

One of my favorite things...laughter and silliness of teenage girls

A few plans for the rest of the week: the usual driving Rachel to ballet and photography class this week, dinner with a couple of ballet mom friends Wednesday night, a nice quiet weekend at home

From my picture journal...
Ballet Company swim party - they wouldn't let the rain stop them from having a blast!

To read more Daybook entries, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Summer Fun

I returned home from Amy's wedding to unpack, wash clothes, pay bills, catch up on household chores, and finally...repack all within a week's time. Rachel was headed to North Carolina for a month-long summer dance intensive. My sister, Nancy, joined Rachel and I for this road trip. After all the wedding planning and festivities, I think she was due for a "sister's trip"!

Nancy, Rachel and I headed out of town about 4:30 a.m. on July 1, hoping to arrive in Charlotte by dark. I think this was the easiest road trip we have ever taken to Charlotte. After weeks of sweltering heat, we enjoyed awesome cool weather on the day of our trip. We stopped for a picnic lunch in TN and it was actually quite cool in the shade! We had no traffic delays and pulled into Wendy's (baby sister) driveway 961 miles after leaving home and just before 9:00 p.m. EST.

Sister's Pic

July 2 we just enjoyed visiting and playing with Emily & Brooke. Friday, Wendy took us shopping at the Metrolina Expo. It's a large expo of booths selling everything from antiques to artwork to gifts. Then, Nancy treated us to pedicures and what a treat it was! What a fun day we had. Saturday we celebrated Independence Day! Wendy & Brad live in a great neighborhood and every year they have a parade on July 4. The kids decorate their bikes, scooters, power wheels, and some parents even decorate floats and cars. Emily rode her bike and Brooke rode her scooter all decked out in red, white, and blue. What fun to watch all the kids having such a great time, making great memories! Brad fired up the grill for a cookout that night with some of his family and a neighbor family.
Fun on the 4th
Brad, Brooke, Wendy & Bentley

Sunday, July 5, was check-in day for Rachel. After lunch, Nancy and I drove her to University of North Carolina at Charlotte and moved her into the dorm. We got to meet her roommate and suitemates and their parents before we left. If I didn't already know my "little" girl was growing up - she let me know that day. She had us help her take everything out of the suitcases, assemble the drying rack, etc. and then she said, "Emily and I will get our room organized how we want it after you leave." I took that as my cue that it was time to say our goodbyes. What a difference a year makes. She asked me not to cry because she knew it would make her cry so I tried my best to hold up my end of the deal. I did okay but, I did feel a few tears fall on my cheeks as I turned to leave. She had lots to do to get settled in that night and to be ready to start classes Monday morning."Roomies" - Rachel & Emily P.

Monday was spent shopping at Southpark Mall after lunch at Cheesecake Factory. My girlie called that night to say she LOVED her classes and had a great day. A great report for this mom's heart! Rachel's dorm room was really cold so we borrowed an extra blanket from Aunt Wendy and delivered it to her after classes on Wednesday. I said goodbye again knowing that I was headed toward home the next day and wouldn't see her again for at least 3 weeks.

Before leaving on our trip, Nancy and I had decided to spend a couple of nights in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN on the way home. We were delighted when it worked out for Wendy to join us for those two nights. We set out Thursday morning, headed for a lunch stop in Ashville, NC. We had a great lunch at a Greek cafe and walked around downtown Ashville before heading on to the mountains. We ran into a bit of rain after leaving Ashville but it wasn't bad until my windshield wiper blade started coming the middle of nowhere!! Wendy's following me and I'm driving as best I can when it's finally evident I'm going to have to pull over and try to fix the wiper or wait until the rain stops (and it doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon). I found an abandoned gas station with a cover to stop under. I get out to tell Wendy why we are stopped and I'm trying to fix my wiper and realize it's NOT going to go back together and the blade is separating from the wiper. Wendy came to the rescue with a ponytail holder!! So, picture me wrapping a ponytail holder around my wiper blade on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Hey, it worked!! As we drove into Gatlinburg, I spotted a Napa store so I stopped and bought a blade and was so thankful for the saleman putting it on the van for me!! Note to self: learn how to replace a wiper blade. We arrived at our condo, unpacked the car and headed to dinner at Joses. Awesome Mexican restaurant!! We did a little shopping around the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge after dinner and then headed back to the condo to map out a plan for Friday. Friday morning we started with an awesome breakfast at The Old Mill to fuel our bodies for the shopping and sightseeing we had planned for the day. After breakfast we drove in to Gatlinburg shopped in the downtown area. Lots of neat little shops there, especially at The Village. Next, we decided a drive in the mountains was a great way to rest our feet. We drove through some of Smoky Mountain National Park and took lots of pictures - it was gorgeous!! Back from our mountain drive, we decided to take a lunch break but couldn't decide what to have so we did what all good mom's do when they are on a trip with no kids - we had Baskin Robbins ice cream for lunch. We drove back to Pigeon Forge and hit the outlet mall and the Incredible Christmas Place. There's nothing like shopping in a multi-building Christmas store when it's about 90 outside. We finished the shopping we had planned to do for the day and we weren't really ready for dinner so we pondered what to do. Finally, we decided to drive back to Gatlinburg and drive the 5 mile loop we had skipped earlier in the day. So, we start down this loop road and it's just like a regular road for a while. Pretty scenery along the way. Then, we see a sign that the "loop" is beginning and it becomes a one way road. Well, can you say "sweaty palms"? I was driving but I could not look out my side window for some of the drive - it was straight down...a...long...way...down! It was a beautiful drive but it was a little scary at times. My family would never believe I drove on that road. We finally finished the loop drive and decided on a late dinner at Red Lobster. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying our last hours together, knowing it might be next summer before we are all together again.

Smoky Mountain National Park
A picture from the "loop" drive : )
The Old Mill - Pigeon Forge, TN
Fun at the Incredible Christmas Place, Pigeon Forge, TN

Gatlinburg, TN
The Village

The Village Fountain

Saturday morning we packed our cars and headed our separate ways - Wendy back home to Charlotte; Nancy and I back to Fort Smith. Nancy and I had a good drive home and were glad we had shaved a few hours off of our trip by not driving straight from Charlotte. I was thankful to have spent a week with my sisters and so happy that the three of us were able to spend a couple of nights together in the mountains with no kids and no hubby's - just us girls!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Fun - Post #1 - Trip to La. & Amy's Wedding

So, it's been a while since I blogged. I do have a great excuse - I've been having fun staying on the go!!

Rachel and I drove to La. June 10. I dropped her off at Robert's parent's house for her summer visit *alone* with Granny & Grandad. She loves spending time with them in the summer and who wouldn't? She gets to sleep late, swim, drive the golf cart, watch cable tv (yes, we are those weird people who don't have cable at home!!) usually gets pretty spoiled - who wouldn't like it?? After getting Rachel settled in with her grandparents I continued on across town to "set up camp" at Nancy's (my older sister). It's always so nice to stay at Nancy & Jerry's - they live at the end of a country lane so it's always very quiet out there and she has beautiful flower gardens to enjoy and this year they even have a pool to lounge in.

I got to have lunch with two of my childhood friends and one of my junior high/high school friends while I was in town. One of my childhood friends, Kelly, and I were roommates in college as well and have kept in touch through the years. We may not talk to each other for months but she's the kind of friend you could talk to after all that time and it would be like you had talked to her yesterday. Janice is another friend from childhood - we went through school together and then I have seen her periodically over the years. My other friend, Lori and I became friends when she moved to town in 8th grade and we went to the same church and school. We were suitemates our first year of college and kept in touch for some time. The last time I saw Lori was about 12 years ago when I was in Oregon visiting my grandma and Lori drove up from where she lives to visit. Sometime after that visit, we lost contact with each other but thanks to Facebook, I found her again and found out she was going to be visiting her dad in East Texas while I was going to be in La. We made a plan and met for lunch - Lori, Kelly, Janice and I. It was fun to catch up on what we have all been doing for the last ?? years!!!

Rachel and I drove down to visit Mom and Jack on Sunday. Mom cooked a great lunch on the grill for us and we enjoyed visiting with them. Wendy, Emily and Brooke (baby sister and her girls) came in from NC a few days later. We girls had so much fun together!!! Mom and Jack invited us all down for dinner at Fisherman's Galley on Toledo Bend Lake. Had a nice dinner and visit. Grammy & G'pa Jack with Rachel, Brooke & Emily

Okay, so on the the REAL reason we were in Louisiana - my neice Amy was getting married!!! Amy is the oldest cousin on my side of the family and the first to get married so everyone was really excited for her. Rachel was honored to be asked to be one of Amy's bridesmaids. I was there to help my sister with anything she needed me to do : ) We ran errands; folded, hole punched & tied ribbons in the programs; tied ribbons on the little tubes of bubbles (after washing the sticky off of them all!); got sunburned in the pool; got stuck in a carwash; went to the nail salon with Amy; had dinner with Amy & Jeffrey; planned a family cookout for the day after the wedding; and who knows what else we did but it was so much fun to be there and help get things ready for Amy's big day. Nancy is the ultimate list maker and planner - you should see that girl's wedding planning notebook. When one of my kids gets married, guess who I am calling first? You got it - Nancy and her notebook : )
some of our "work"

Dinner w/Amy & Jeffrey
Stuck in a car wash!!!!!!
Amy, Emily & Rachel @ the nail salon

Rob, Sharon & Ryan (bro & sil) at rehearsal dinner
my nephew Charlie @ rehearsal dinner

Allan & cousin Emily @ rehearsal dinner
Emily, Sophie & Amy - flower girls & the "princess"

Amy & Jeffrey's wedding was wonderful. She was a beautiful bride : ) The ceremony was very nice and the reception was lots of fun - just ask the flower girls who danced all night!! I wish Amy and Jeffrey all the happiness in the world as they begin their married life together in their beautiful new home. They have a really neat story - they dated in high school, then went their separate ways, only to find their way back to one another and end up getting married! We enjoyed visiting with family and friends, some of whom we haven't seen in a number of years, at the rehearsal, wedding, and reception.
Rachel & Amy

Father of the Bride!

Jerry, Nancy, Amy & Charlie
Rachel & Grammy
Aunt Dot & Uncle Bruce
Groom's cake - how disgusting - LSU????

Robert and Allan drove down on Friday for the wedding and we all spent a few days with Robert's parents before driving home on Tuesday. It was a great trip and a great beginning to a great summer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...June 1, 2009

Outside my window...the sun is setting after a really nice day. It was a bit on the warm side but a pretty day.

I am thinking...about working on my "to do" list. I have a lot on that list this week but there is even more to be done that isn't actually on the list.

I am thankful for...Allan's willingness to help me grocery shop this evening.

From the learning rooms...I have declared that school is officially on summer break with the exception of working on finishing algebra and English on the days we are home. Cleaning out books for the book sale later this month.

From the kitchen...tonight - chicken strips, roasted red potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

I am wearing...jeans and a favorite shirt

I am creating...lists, lists, and more lists. Shopping lists, "to do" lists, packing lists, etc.

I am bed early tonight!!!! Early meaning before 1 a.m., Lol!

I am time to read right now.

I am hoping...and praying that Rachel's appointment tomorrow goes well. She has to have a toenail removed (it's already on the way off) and it totally grosses me out to even think about it. Wonder if daddy might be willing to take her?? When Allan had to have an ingrown toenail taken care of several years ago, Dad got the honor of taking him because Mom was a chicken.

I am hearing...the t.v. and a shower running

Around the house...working on laundry and the stacks of homeschool membership renewals and new applications.

One of my favorite wicker swing. It used to hang in our downstairs den but has recently been moved outside because we rarely use the downstairs den. It's in my carport overlooking my flower beds. A nice place to sit out in the shade for a bit.

A few plans for the rest of the week...still need a dress for my neice's wedding. I bought one but it's just not "the one". So, shopping for a dress and shoes; Orientation meeting for our homeschool group - this is the first for Robert and I as we transition to take over membership duties for our group in addition to the treasurer job; shopping for camp supplies for Rachel; helping Rach sew multiple pair of pointe shoes for camp.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...I'll have to add the picture tomorrow as it's too dark to take the picture now. I'll share a picture of my wicker swing.

To read more daybook entries, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...May 3, 2009

Outside my window...the sun is trying to peek through the clouds

I am thinking...I should be going to the grocery store instead of blogging ; )

I am thankful during weekend storms. The kids and I were in La. visiting my sister and my in-laws when severe storms passed through. Many trees were uprooted near my sister's home and power lines were down. They are without electricity and water still today. Thankful everyone was kept from harm.

From the learning's work is almost done!! Lesson plans are ready for the next few weeks as we try to finish up.

From the kitchen...homemade guacamole and bean burritos for lunch.

I am wearing...jeans and a sweater

I am creating...a plan for the weekend

I am the grocery store when I finish this post

I am curriculum catalogs trying to decide for sure about next year's curriculum

I am clean off a table in my bedroom - which means putting a year's worth of photos in order and in books.

I am hearing...birds singing; Rachel asking questions about her geography review pages

Around the house...catching up on laundry from the weekend

One of my favorite things...getting to spend the weekend with my sister. Spent last weekend there - went to a wedding shower for my niece.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a family trip to Branson, MO for the weekend!!!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This Painted Bunting visited our bird feeder this morning!! We were so excited to see it. Robert sees them occasionally on his drive to work but we've never seen one at our house. We've watched for him to return but so far, we haven't seen him.

To read more entries for The Simple Woman's Daybook, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I participated in my first Komen Race for the Cure Saturday. I was so happy when I was getting ready to register and Rachel told me she would like to participate with me!! We had to get up at 4:15 to pick up one of my support group friends at 5:15 and be in Rogers by 6:30 for the survivor breakfast festivities. It was an early morning but it was a fun day! We met up with several of the other ladies from my support group at breakfast. I wish we'd gotten a picture together but we got in a hurry and I didn't get it. I was AMAZED by the number of people who were there. They say there were about 18,000 registered for the run (I think that includes the 5K and the 1 mile family fun walk). Let's just say this - there were A LOT of people there!! I was even interviewed by a young man from a student newspaper - I didn't ask but I am assuming from U of A. I think it all finally hit me Saturday night when I hit the shower and I was thinking about a question I heard being asked that day - why do you run?? My simple answer came to me in that short moment - because I CAN, because I am HERE, because I am HEALED!! I was overcome with emotion thinking of how grateful I am because I know some who are not able and some who are not here. To GOD be the glory!!This is after the 5K participants took off and we were waiting for the 1 mile family fun walkI wish these pictures were better to show you how many people there were - they were stretched as far as the eye could see!!
Rachel & I at the Survivor Breakfast

I lost or deleted this while uploading the pictures so I hope it works this time!! Robert bought a used canoe over the weekend and Rachel decided Sunday would be a great time for a family float trip to try it out. The guys have been on several multi-day float trips in the past few years but Rachel and I haven't been on the river for a while. Robert and Allan started loading the canoes and gear while Rachel and I packed a picnic lunch and lots of sunscreen (that I *should* have put on my legs). We decided to float the Mulberry River from Byrd's to Turner Bend which was about a 3 1/2 hour float. It was a gorgeous day for a float trip!! We headed out from Byrd's with Robert and I in our aluminum canoe with the cooler and most of the other gear. The kids were in the "new to us" canoe which is a smaller fiberglass? Mohawak canoe. They did well for the first little bit and then...they were upside down for the first of about 4 times to turn over. Rachel was fine after the initial shock of it. Allan...he was a great sport about it all - even after the last spill!! Robert and I never turned over!!!! We did have to stop to empty the water twice after getting swamped going through some rapids though. It was such a fun day together! Normally, we probably wouldn't have skipped church for a day of canoeing but these kind of days have been rare since the summer of 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am finally feeling somewhat normal again and trying to live life to the fullest! It's great to be on the go again - the kids and I will be in Mansfield this weekend for a wedding shower for my niece, Amy; the following weekend we'll all be at The Wilderness Lodge at Big Cedar in Branson. It's great to be!!!

The kids took a different route and had to portage over two trees!!

On the go again

Pretty water

Pretty girl ; )

more pretty water

There were lots of these butterflies around