Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Shopping: shoes, groceries, guitars

  1. I took the girls shoe shopping today. Both of the girls who needed shoes/boots found what they were looking for. And the one girl who didn't need new shoes/boots didn't complain about now being able to buy anything.

  2. We made it to the grocery store early today, which was really good. Reports from others were that the grocery stores were turning into madhouses because of the snow in the forecast for tonight. We made it in and out with no problems, and we're now fully stocked with toilet paper, milk, eggs, and supplies for the Super Bowl on Sunday.

  3. The girls also went guitar shopping and bought a guitar at the guitar store with the money they got for Christmas from their grandparents.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New semester, more heat, hand lotion from Pastor Joan

  1. Starting a new semester of Latin with the girls and a new semester of Logic with my oldest.

  2. My husband did something, and the blowers are working better now to get the heat from the basement up to the main level. I think he's going to put a better latch on the basement door today, too, and that will help us stay warmer also!

  3. I was looking for some lotion for my really chapped hands and found a tube of Nivea Creme (ohne Konservierungsstoffe) that Pastor Joan bought for me when I was in the hospital in Luxembourg. Thinking about Joan is such a happy memory for me, in the middle of all the crazy things that happened back then. Now I have a daily reminder of all her kindnesses to us --- this lotion sitting on my desk.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Girls, new desk chair, one cold little finger

  1. Having a day where I can focus on the girls instead of a lot of demands from other people.

  2. A new chair for the computer desk. I moved my rocking chair to the other side of the office.

  3. My youngest daughter told us this evening that she was warm all over except that the little finger on her right hand was cold. Somehow it had something to do with setting up her books on the piano so that she could practice. I just can't get that thought out of my head. How does that work? How does your little finger get cold setting up piano books? Only my youngest understands.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gloves and earmuffs, $1.959, God's hand in X-bar charts

  1. It's really cold here today. After I dropped off my youth for choir practice this afternoon, I stopped for some gasoline. It was really cold and windy---the coldest weather we've experienced since we moved back to the States in April. I was really missing my ear muffs, and I put my hands in my pockets to keep my hands warm as I waited for the gasoline to pump. My ear muffs were in my coat pocket! I'm not sure, but I think I hadn't worn my coat since I came home from the hospital last March. It was just such a nice surprise to find gloves and ear muffs on such a cold, windy day.

  2. I only paid $1.959 per gallon for gasoline.

  3. While working on some statistics homework tonight with a client, I was sure I had all the formulas right for making X-bar charts. I was *so* confident that I didn't look it up. But then she couldn't get the computer to take the answers from my formulas, so I looked up the formulas, and I had them wrong. If the computer had taken the answers from my formulas, she would have missed it and the computer would have given her more problems to do. She and I have been working together on this assignment for a couple of weeks now, and the computer is NOT forgiving at all, even for simple things like rounding. But God was watching out for my over-confidence tonight. We fixed the formulas, and we finished the section on X-bar charts. It was a bright spot in an otherwise really yucky set of homework problems. But the best news of all is that we finished the assignment completely before its due date!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hot tea, toast, empty space

  1. The sound our machine makes when the tea is finished brewing.

  2. The smell of good bread in the toaster.

  3. Making a huge, empty, clean space in my office.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Favorite songs to practice

I enjoy listening to the girls practice the piano, but I realized that I can tell very easily tell what their favorite songs are. It's just something in the spirit when they play them. It makes me happy to hear them all so motivated to practice and to continue to grow in their playing abilities.
  1. My oldest is enjoying her "Lord of the Rings" book, but I think her favorite song is still "Narnia Lullaby" from her "Chronicles of Narnia" songbook. She likes the pictures the best from the Narnia songbook also---good pictures of horses.

  2. My middlest daughter is learning to play "The Medallion Calls" from her "Pirates of the Caribbean" songbook, and she likes looking at the pictures of Mr. Bloom.

  3. My youngest daughter enjoys playing "Joy to the World" from the Christmas book that Miss Kimberly gave her a couple of years ago. She likes to play it as loudly and as quickly as she possibly can.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pink frost, still our deers, Spanish for free

  1. I love heavy frosts in the morning. When the sun first comes up, everything that is frosted turns pink. Then the frost on the short grass in the lawn melts first and sparkles, while the tall grass in the fields is still frosty. Against all the sparkling and frost are the cedars growing out by the rocks, tall and dark against all the frost in the fields. It takes your breath away.

  2. Four deer down by the pond today. I've been so nervous for them all through hunting season, but not only are they all still alive, they don't seem to be any more afraid of us than they were before hunting season started.

  3. As part of my efforts to help out with household expenses, I signed up with one of those survey companies to be paid to take surveys. I checked it out before I started because many of them are scams, but some of them give you free products to try at home. My first free product to try at home arrived in the mail today---free language CD's to improve my Spanish. My husband laughs at me because I'm not really bringing in anything to the household that's practical and saves us money (I wouldn't have bought these CD's if I'd had to pay), but the girls and I will have fun testing them out, and I will have a chance to improve my Spanish. Which really means learn some Spanish. The only Spanish I know I learned from Sesame Street or from going to Mexico on business and trying to talk to people in Latin and letting them guess at what Spanish word I meant. An unorthodox way to learn, but I remember those conversations with Gilberto. We'll see if these new CD's are as memorable.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #11

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nice clients, quiet, fewer boxes

  1. A really nice thank-you note from a client.

  2. The quiet in the house that comes when everyone is working on school, the dishes are washed, and the laundry is done. Aaaah.

  3. Finally putting away the Christmas boxes so there is more space in my living room.

Monday, January 22, 2007

New jackets, wading, provenance

  1. Seeing the girls all warm in the new jackets I got them at Walmart for only $5.50 each.

  2. Seeing the look on the girls faces as they explain to me that they were wading in the creek today when it was only 42 degrees outside.

  3. Trying to use the word "provenance" in a sentence today while I was talking to my dad.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Talk with Daddy, Shakespeare, out of my shell

  1. I had a nice talk with my dad this afternoon on the phone. He was in the middle of getting some chemo, and he was bored, so I called at a really good time.

  2. My kids decided to watch a movie this afternoon, and they chose "A Midsummer Night's Dream." My kids are watching Shakespeare and no one was forcing them to!

  3. Everyone I wanted to talk to at church was at church today. Now I don't have to make as many phone calls. I also realized that I'm starting to come out of my shell some.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Three favorite t-shirts

  1. "Girls just want to buy shoes" (Mall of America)

  2. "I like to let my mind wander, but it never comes back"

  3. "TIGGER" (Walk Disney World)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Finished projects, finished school, warm sunshine

  1. I finished two big projects for clients today, and have enough work for over the weekend that I'm turning down people or asking them to wait until next week.

  2. All three girls really buckled down these past two days and finished up their school work on time. I think it was difficult having a full week of school again after Christmas and the birthdays. And because we're just a couple of weeks behind, this week and next week will be big weeks for semester exams. But the girls are coming through with flying colors.

  3. It was warmer today outside, and the sun was shining all day long!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Customer service, lots and lots of clean dishes, fuzziness

  1. The check out guy at the grocery store remembered me. He knows that I like to buy eggplant and zucchini. It makes me feel loved to be recognized.

  2. My husband washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen while I was at the grocery store.

  3. My husband also gave himself a buzz cut with the pet clippers. The kids want to rub his head all the time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #10

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New clients, lots of whipped cream, our dear Mr. Orlando Bloom

  1. After a busy day of answering questions yesterday (with a Federal holiday in the States), it's paying off in a big way today with two more paying clients.

  2. The look on everyone's face when I told them the whipped cream might go bad soon so they should use it all when frosting the pumpkin muffins my youngest made today.

  3. Our latest Netflix movie came with a drawing on the envelope done by Orlando Bloom---a drawing of hands carrying hearts. The smile on the face of my middlest daughter was priceless when she realized that she could tell all her friends that Orlando Bloom sent her a Valentine. We scanned it into the computer so that she could save it forever.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Fire in the furnace, Dr. King's day, "Free at Last"

  1. The temperatures have been dropping steadily all day, but we're warm here in our nest with a nice fire in the furnace.

  2. We're having a very good start to the week after a weekend of parties. I know that most people have a national holiday today, but I think it honors Dr. King's memory more to keep the kids in school and make them learn about the Civil Rights movement instead of making it a national holiday so that everyone can go shopping. I know that's very socialist of me, trying to ruin yet another good capitalist American holiday. But I don't care. The capitalist have their way at Christmas. In my own small way, I can celebrate Dr. King's day the best way I can.

  3. "Free at Last"

    Free at last, free at last,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.
    Free at last, free at last,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.

    The very time I thought I was lost,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;
    My dungeon shook and my chains fell off,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,

    Way down yonder in the graveyard walk
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,
    Me and my Jesus going to meet and talk
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,

    On my knees when the light pass'd by
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,
    Tho't my soul would rise and fly
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,

    Some of these mornings, bright and fair
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,
    Goin' meet King Jesus in the air
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last,

    This is Jesus, I do know,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last;
    For I never felt such a love before,
    Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.

This is my 100th day for Three Beautiful Things in Tennessee. When I started, I wasn't sure that I could handle blogging faithfully every day, but now I realize that the time has flown by. I'm looking forward to writing my next 300 beautiful things.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Driving, noise, cleanliness

  1. I sometimes let my oldest daughter drive the quarter mile up or down our driveway, or let her practice pulling the car out of the garage. This afternoon as she started the car, the Alan Jackson song "Drive" was on the car radio. In the song he reminisces about how he felt like a race car driver when he was a kid and his dad let him drive. The look on my daughter's face when she got the car up to 20 miles per hour for the very first time told me that she understood that song. (Just one more year before she gets her learner's permit to drive on public roads.)

  2. My youngest daughter got the game "Yahtzee" for her birthday. We thought she would enjoy the game (and so would the rest of the family, so she'd have people to play with), but I had no idea how much she would love it. She is so happy when she's making noise, and she can make a lot of noise with five dice in a big plastic cup. The more we plugged our ears, the bigger she smiled. (It also helped her enjoyment that she got 3 Yahtzees in her first game and beat us all by at least 200 points.)

  3. I didn't have to cook all day yesterday or today, and my husband ran two loads full in the dishwasher, so I had a nice, relaxing weekend, for the most part, and the kitchen is clean, for the most part.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Birthday twins, helpfulness, commercial-free music

  1. Birthday twins

  2. The girls decorated their cakes this morning, and then helped me clean up after the party. It's such a blessing to have such wonderful girls.

  3. A commercial-free weekend on one of our favorite Nashville radio stations, 95.5 WSM (The Wolf).

Friday, January 12, 2007

Good shopping, baking cakes, little sisters

  1. We had a successful shopping trip to buy gifts for tomorrow's birthdays.

  2. The girls actually want to bake their own birthday cakes now. They are working on them this evening. It certainly takes the pressure off me.

  3. My youngest loves the t-shirt she got for Christmas:

    "Trouble is spelled S-I-S-T-E-R"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Good friends, Disney World memories, getting back to normal

  1. I had a phone call today from a very dear friend, Cheryl, the maid of honor at my wedding. We had lost touch with each other, mostly because of us moving to Luxembourg. I sent her a Christmas card this year on a lark, just in case they were still at the old address, or that maybe someone would forward the card. They weren't at that address, but the card was delivered instead to her in-laws' house, and eventually sent on to her. When she got the letter she called me so that we could catch up.

    Cheryl is one of those people that I connected with right away from the first day we met. I remember someone asking us how long we'd been friends as we were sitting and chatting at a church lunch. Cheryl said, "Oh, about 40 minutes." It was just always like that with her. We just have so much in common. And even after all these years, and even with me being AWOL for a time, we still have a lot in common.

  2. My oldest daughter got out the scrapbook from our first trip to Disney World, which turned out to be five years ago today. It was nice to remember that trip. We went with my parents, and it was a really bonding experience for the kids and them. And Disney is just such a wonderful place to visit anyway.

  3. My youngest girls cleaned up a lot of the Christmas mess that was still living in our living room. Now we just need to get the tree put away and the boxes moved, and the living room will be back to normal.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #9

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chatting, girl talk, perfect time for snow

  1. I'm redesigning my business web site, and one of the new features I'm adding is the ability to chat with me when you visit the site. I've had some success with chatting on other sites to build my client base, and I wanted to add it to my site, too. I had my best friend help me try out the new chat software today. We think it's going to work. It was so good to be able to chat with her today. It was almost like old times. It was a better test than early this morning when my husband was laughing at me for chatting with myself on-line.

  2. After several late nights, I had a chance today to relax downstairs and talk to my oldest. It seems that I don't get a chance to do that very often.

  3. It snowed for about five minutes today, and it was during the time that my youngest was walking down to the mailbox to check the mail. Perfect timing.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Grandma weenies, markers, our creek

  1. We made my grandma's special hot dogs today for lunch: hot dogs cut in half with mashed potatoes and Velveeta on top, broiled in the oven until the Velveeta is black (or brown for the girls).

  2. My husband found the set of magic markers we like to use for art. They had gotten lost from the rest of the art supplies in the packing.

  3. Our creek after two days of rain.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Red, a paying client, a cute prayer

  1. Wearing red to church. I like to red to church the first Sunday of a new year.

  2. I had several positive contacts today from clients, and my very first payment from my consulting business for 2007. Not much money yet, but it's a nice way to start a new year, and I think it's a good omen for a good year.

  3. A friend of mine sent me a cute little poem:

    "A Prayer for a Wife

    Dear Lord,
    I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
    Love to forgive him;
    And Patience for his moods.
    Because, Lord, if I pray for
    Strength, I'’ll beat him to death.
    Amen. "

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dresser, icky boy stuff, Vincent Price

  1. My husband moved the dresser in our room. Before the room had been too full of boxes to put the dresser in the back corner where I wanted it. Now we'll have so much more room to move around.

  2. We watched the movie 13 Going on 30 last night. It was fun to watch the girls' reactions to the character's reactions to grown-up things, especially anything to do with boys. She was really grossed out by a lot of the stuff her boyfriend was doing, and the kids were so in tune with that.

  3. After the movie, and it's soundtrack that I thoroughly enjoyed, I put on a Michael Jackson Thriller CD, and my husband and I both sat around and laughed to hear Vincent Price says things like "funk" and "getting down."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Comfort in a storm, wading in the creek, "The Story of an Hour"

  1. It was really raining and stormy last night, and my baby was reading "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" for school. She slept with me last night.

  2. After all the rain last night, it was warm today and mostly clear. The blond girls went down to the creek to read this afternoon. I believe there was some wading going on also. Just such a pretty day after all the rain!

  3. I read a short story I hadn't read before by an author named Kate Chopin. I have read some of her other stories, but not this one. I really like it. She gets her message across in so few words---incredibly well written. It's on-line in several places, but I especially like the all the biographical information and study notes by Ann Woodlief at VCU: "The Story of an Hour".

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sunrise again, cookies again, my kitty sweatshirt

  1. I was awake this morning in time to see the sunrise. I love this time of day because it's the best time to see our deer, and today was especially nice because of some really lovely pink clouds. I haven't been getting up early enough these past few days; I've been staying up too late because of all the holidays and such. It's time to get back on schedule.

  2. The kids are baking cookies again, and almost completely independent from me. In these times when money is tight, the kids are finding out that people enjoy getting home-baked cookies. I've been encouraging the baking, if they needed any encouragement, by buying them new colors of sprinkles every time I see them in the store.

  3. Today I'm wearing my favorite kitty sweatshirt, given to me by my mom.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #8

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Recipes with zucchini, scrapbook time, piano sounds

  1. I've been on a kick lately making up new recipes to try to stay out of a dinner-time rut. Tonight we had Chicken and Vegetables Italiano with chicken, zucchini, and broccoli. It was somewhat similar to last week's Chicken and Vegetables Mexicali with chicken, zucchini, rice, and beans, but not similar enough so that anyone complained. I'm certain that my mother is amazed that I cook so much with zucchini since I wouldn't eat it as a child, but I've found that it's a very flexible vegetable when you're trying to make up new things to eat.

  2. I made some time this afternoon to work on my scrapbook from our trip around Europe last March. It's nice to be scrapbooking again. I spent a good part of the day looking up places and roads on Google maps because I hadn't taken good enough notes when we were there, and it's been almost a year now, and I wasn't always completely with-it when I was there to begin with being only 2 weeks post-op.

  3. The kids are back to school with a light week (a reading week), except that they have to practice their piano again. I didn't make them practice last week, but I realize now that I really miss it when they don't practice. I guess that sometimes it's just too quiet in the house.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The First Song That I Sing, marching bands, paper dolls

  1. Waking up this morning to a new day and a new year to the song "First Song that I Sing" by Sara Groves, quoting from "Sing Your Praise" by Rich Mullins.

  2. They showed both bands during the half-time of the Cotton Bowl (even if my beloved Cornhuskers eventually lost the game).

  3. The kids are happy to be home and are playing paper dolls quietly in their mostly cleaned rooms upstairs.