Tuesday, January 31, 2012

circle of quiet

Thursday, I'll have had it for six weeks 
- the maximum time allowed by the library -
but I still haven't managed to finish it.
Which is a bummer; I really liked the book.
I have an old receipt as a bookmark
(do ya'll do this - just grab whatever scrap you can find?)
and I've scribbled down page numbers on it
where I found quotes I particularly liked.
I don't regularly do that.
Well, one time I borrowed The Read-Aloud Handbook
and returned if with about 20 tiny scraps of toilet paper in it
(what?! two squares of toilet paper was my bookmark....)
and when I borrowed it again, happy day,
they were all still in there.
Those are the books I think I should probably just own,
the ones I have all marked up.
Or rather, they would be marked up if I owned them...

- as a side note ~ if you have children
or have any part in the educating of children, I highly recommend
The Read Aloud Handbook -

I only made it to page 111 in A Circle of Quiet,
which captivated me from the very beginning, because I could so identify with it,
 when L'Engle wrote: Every so often I need OUT; something will throw me into total disproportion, and I have to get away from everybody - away from all these people I love most in the world - in order to regain a sense of proportion.
Sometimes I feel horrible, because I just. need. a. break.
but somehow, her saying it didn't sound bad at all - just normal.

Some of the other thoughts I especially liked are
When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware: we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is an act of creativity. So when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we escape our self-conscious selves. 
Actually - everything on page 11 is great.

from page 43 If we are given minds we are required to use them, but not limit ourselves by them. Continuing on the subject of creativity, page 46 is great, too...
Page 99 has some excellent thoughts, though not related to creativity.

Pages 109-110 had two questions for young people to ask themselves
 regarding how their relationship with someone 'special' effects them 
(yes - this book really is all over the place. 
I think that's part of why I've been so slow in reading it. 
I love it; but it requires a great deal of concentration - something that I often lack.)
The questions are: Are you functioning at a better level than usual?  
How are your relations with the rest of  the world? 
Of course, she expounds on these questions....

My very favorite quote (so far) from A Circle of Quite comes from page 45
and I think if we could all remember it, the world would be a better place.
Love is not an emotion. 
It is a policy.

I'll just need to check it out again in a week or so,
for another six weeks, so I can finish it.
I wonder what other gems I will find hidden in its pages.

Friday, January 27, 2012

five things on Friday

Tyler has been gone all week.
Last night at dinner Lexi prayed,
 "Thank-you that Daddy is coming straight home."

You know it's rained a good bit here lately.
You also know we tend to have toilet troubles when it rains.
Tyler convinced me that if I just plunged it
while various boys covered up various plumbing air holes
(don't ask)
all our troubles would be over.
I plunged that sucker for ten minutes straight.
I have a blister.
from plunging.
But I still have poop in my pot.

We've got 3 sick kids.
Tummy bug sick.
Poor Lex' has just been miserable.
She asked, "what does miserable mean?"
I told her and she agreed, yes, she was miserable!

My hand-quilting is improving;
I haven't bled on my quilt in three days.
And I've got it down to about 45 minutes per block.
I've also learned that I do a better job 
if I don't try to watch a movie while quilting.

Maybe I didn't really learn that though,
'cause I've still been watching old Designing Women episodes
sometimes while I quilt, thanks to the reminder from BooMama.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

dipping my toes into hand quilting

First, I machine quilted diagonally 
across the patchwork section. (3.5 hrs)
Next, I free motion quilted some scriptures on the inner border.
(2 ish hours - still have one side to do)
Hand-quilting the pinwheels is next on the list.

As I suspected, I really enjoyed the stitching
and it was a nice break in a busy busy day.
That half a block took 30 minutes.
There are 40 pinwheels.
I'm gonna get faster.
I hope, I hope...

I'm also going to have to improve the back somehow...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I let a little thing like my pinwheel blocks being a tad too small
keep me from finishing my quilt.
I couldn't exactly fix the problem
and I wasn't quite sure how to go about tackling it.
I want to be able to use the quilt, but I just dreaded working on it.
I finally gave myself a good talking to and pressed on.
It won't win any prizes in a quilt show
but I'm pretty fond of it anyway.

How to quilt it? 
I'm still mulling that over.

self awareness

I apparently have a thing
for bi-flavored lip balm;
I currently have tubes of
coconut lime,
chocolate mint,
raspberry lemonade
roaming about the house.
Oh. And a tube of citrus vanilla, too.

I wonder what this says about me?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

six weeks out

We've been wheat-free for a little over six weeks now.
Off the top of my head, here's what I've noticed:
I should also note that when we dropped the wheat
-and dramatically reduced our intake of other grains and starchy carbs-
we upped our intake of green veggies and healthy oils
I'd say olive oil consumption has actually decreased, 
due to the not making bread & tortillas)
We're also eating a ton of almonds
and a good bit of coconut.
Oh. and grassfed beef - as of 2 weeks ago.

I'd say the most obvious difference
we are all eating quite a bit less than we used to.
Except for Josiah - he is actually eating a bit more.
Jeremiah is able to exercise self control with food,
which is something we have never seen before;
he'll eat a small portion
and be full
and quit eating.
It's really quite remarkable.
Actually, we've all had more self-control food-wise,
and not felt deprived.
Also quite remarkable.

I have noticed
(and I fully admit these things may or may not be relevant)
 my skin seems clearer,
I had my first pain-free (and short) period in years.
(without taking tons of garlic!)
I haven't had nearly as much joint pain as I've been having.
For several months, my hands were often swollen and sore
so that I had difficulty opening jars, writing,
cutting food,
and doing hand-sewing.
I was so sad to think
 that I'd have to machine-sew my quilt bindings.
Let's see - what else?
I've lost 11 lbs.
Which I think isn't all that impressive considering
how much weight I have to lose
and the fact that I cut out the bottom level of the food pyramid.
when I also consider that
I've done very little exercising
and a good bit of sitting on my rump 
with my foot elevated lately,
11 lbs isn't so bad, after all.
Tyler, Brandon, and Jeremiah have all lost weight, too.

The one thing I haven't seen 
that I was hoping to - is a surge of energy.
Lots of people mentioned having so much energy
after going off wheat,
but I haven't noticed that at all.
Tyler, though, has not felt as drained as he usually feels.
He'll get some lab work done soon,
which will let us know if this way of eating 
has been successful with lowering his blood sugar,
blood pressure, and LDL levels.
 we'll take it from there.....

Monday, January 16, 2012

just another duh moment

I was at Hobby Lobby
doing some shopping for a little family project
when TJ called. 
After I'd grabbed what I went for,
I spent a few minutes just browsing the pretties
while I talked with him.
I spotted a cute little metal birdhouse sculpture
that I thought would look awfully cute in the pantry.
It certainly isn't a necessity, 
so I figured I'd snap a picture of it with my phone
and talk myself into it think about it for a week or so.
I started digging in my purse 
(which is actually fairly small as purses go)
and I felt sick to my stomach;
my phone wasn't in my purse.
I was just sure I'd put it in there,
because I'd added to my 1,000 gifts list
right before I got out of the car.
I started to tell T I needed to go
so I could go look for my lost phone...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

bum foot bummer

I told Tyler yesterday
that I was going to go to today's appointment, 
expecting Dr Crotty (cringe) to tell me I'd need to keep wearing my boot.
That way, I wouldn't be disappointed with the news.
Not surprisingly - I have to keep wearing the boot.
(I grossly underestimated how much time I spend on my feet.)
What I wasn't expecting, though,
was for him to tell me that I'd need 'prescription orthotics'.
Unless I want to re-injure my foot.
And that,
is a bummer!!
it makes me feel really old.

Ben & Lily

Just in case you wonder what 4-year-olds talk about after church....

"Benjamin told me he was thinking about marrying me.
So, I'm thinking I will probably marry him.
He said he had a dream about that."
"Marrying you?" I asked Lily.
"Not exactly; he had a dream about our anniversaries.
We go out to dinner."

Sarah Beth (Ben's big sis) happened upon them
as they were having this conversation.
She said Ben had a real serious look on his face.
She asked what they were talking about
and he replied, "Just stuff."
Ever the female, Lily added a little more detail.
And she was sure to let SarahB know
they were waiting 'til they got bigger.

I don't know if that'll ever happen,
but it'd sure be sweet;
they could say 
in all honesty
they've loved each other their whole lives.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

whaddya think?

I know;
I know.
I'm not big on change.
and yet, here I am, messing with the blog...
I've actually wanted a cleaner look for awhile
and once I clicked on a new template,
I wasn't sure how to get the old one back
so I just decided to go for it.
I don't know that I'm done yet,
but I've wasted a ridiculous amount of time today
messing with it, so I'm calling it quits for now.
That and I've already bugged Lynnet enough for one day...
and my brain hurts.

how to I get the header image to fill the space??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

shopping with my boy

Way back when,
back when we were a normal sized family,
living in a normal-sized house,
we were real organized.
We had a cleaning schedule,
a monthly menu,
a regular library day - weekly - complete with a picnic,
and I went grocery shopping every Thursday afternoon,
with 1 kid.
Which kid it was, was based on a 3 week rotation.

I wish I could get my act half as together as it used to be.

after church,
I had Tyler drop off Jeremiah and I at Walmart
while he took the rest of the kids and ran to Sam's.
I don't really prefer to shop on Sundays,
but it works for us right now.
And let's be honest, 
my not running to the grocery store on Sunday
isn't going to allow employees to not have to work Sunday...
But that's not the point.
The point is - it was really nice,
shoppin' with just my bub.
We checked price per ounce to make sure we got the best deal.
We guessed how much produce would weigh
and then guessed how much it would cost.
(Practical Mathematics, we used to call it)
We talked - although I can't remember about what.
We weren't in a huge rush.
It was nice.
Peaceful, even.
It reminded me of old times.
(Except we didn't get a secret snack.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

a really long post about not much of anything

Tyler and I stayed up waaaay too late last night,
messing with house plans.
Once upon a time - we did that for fun.
For fun!
It isn't fun anymore.
In fact,
I kinda hate it ~ there's so much pressure now
to come up with the perfect plan.
And you can forget finding a plan online
or in a book that would be a good fit for us!
We were up past 2.
And still, I couldn't get to sleep for over an hour.
I couldn't take melatonin, since I wouldn't be getting 
anywhere near 8 hours of sleep.
Although, now I'm wondering - if I'd have taken a half a pill,
do you think maybe it would have only released for 4 hours??

I haven't been drinking coffee regularly lately;
just don't really want it most days.
seeing that I was short on sleep,
I figured I ought to make some this morning
and here is how my day started
once I finally drug myself out of bed:

Apparently, my coffee bag had a hole,
and as I filled my little pot, I dumped an equal amount....
I sent Tyler a text
'I hope this isn't indicative of my day'.
I'll spare you the details, but my next text to him
(sent an hour and a half later while at a red light, 
after sighting the train, after leaving the house late)
Things are conspiring against me.

On the way to church, I realized that Lexi hadn't gone potty yet,
so I decided that everyone should go - for good measure -
and told the kids nobody was going potty during the service.
This was going to add several minutes...
After pottying, (what? that's not a word?)
we visited for a few minutes in the bathroom with a sweet gal,
and as we walked down the hall,
(finally - about 5 minutes late)
Lily says with a huge smile, 
while practicing her Fancy Nancy walking,
"Well, that was really fun, in the bathroom!"

We should get out more.

We got a little closer to the Gathering Area,
and I could see that there was some kind of celebration going on.
I was trying to remember if I knew what it might be
when I saw Grandma Bess!!
100 year old Grandma Bess!

I guess things weren't conspiring against me, after all.

(as a bonus - the kids were super during church. 
All of them. The entire service. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

turns out

we do like 
Had our first roast yesterday;
it was scrumptious!
I just cooked it at a lower temp
and for longer
than I normally would.
speaking of beef - I never told you about the freezer...

Lana had offered to keep our beef in their freezer,
but I kinda wanted the convenience of having it here.
And also
after we go to the dairy,
our fridge freezers are so full of milk
for 3-4 weeks, while we drink our fresh milk,
that we only have enough room
for about 5 lbs each of chicken and green beans.
Which is 2 meals worth of each - if you were wondering. 
So, we really could use the freezer space!

We found a chest freezer online at Home Depot
that was considerably less expensive than comparable freezers elsewhere.
But we aren't really fans of some of HD's policies
and prefer to shop at Lowe's.
We're all for 'voting with our shopping dollars',
but the very real fact is - we only have so many dollars
with which to vote. 
Gets tricky sometimes.
We decided to go to Lowe's and see if they had anything
 in the store
that we hadn't seen online.
It just so happened that the store manager
(or was it the asst. manager?)
walked by while we were looking at a freezer
very much like the one we'd found online for HD,
priced $118 higher than Home Depot's price.
Tyler explained to him that we aren't fond of Home Depot
and we'd very much like to spend our money with them,
but we just couldn't spend that much more
for a similar product.
Long story short(er)
they came down $79 on the freezer,
so for an extra $39, we got 2 additional baskets,
.2 extra cubic feet (big whoop) and an interior light.
And we got to give Lowe's our business, instead of Home Depot.

And that's our freezer story.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ya think?

I had the thought,
as I was feeling giddy
putting away my Azure Standard booty,
that maybe - just maybe,
am a little weird.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

guess he told me

We were taking the ornaments off the tree.
Jeremiah handed me one that I wasn't positive was his.
As I skimmed the note from his remaining empty box
I said, "Just wait a second, 'til I see if it's yours."
"Well - it was mine last year"
was his quick reply.