Too Much Mouse Time

My elbow and shoulder tend to hurt fairly often, which I know is a direct result of being on the computer a lot. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that my elbow and shoulder actually feel great since I haven't had the computer this past week. I further suppose I should take that as a sign that I need to spend just a little less time on the computer. Either that or I have to become an ambidextrous mouse user. LOL!

Of course, catching up doesn't qualify for the less mouse time category, so I'm off to work on some book reviews (painful elbow and all).

Back Online - Really

I know I said I was back online . . . and I was, sort of. Not that using hubby's laptop was a bad thing, but it's just not the same as having my computer complete with photo software, printers, etc. It was a drag having no ability to print, check one of my email accounts, and upload my photos. But at least I could keep up on most of my email, check into a couple of blogs, and not be entirely out of the loop!

The great news is that my computer is feeling much better and moving a lot quicker than it used to. The sad news is that my printer/scanner/copier is dead. Boo hoo! At least I have a second printer that I use primarily for photos (costs too much to use regularly for text), so that will hold me over until I can replace my poor old HP1210.

And no, I haven't written any reviews, even though I've finished a couple of books. I just couldn't get into the writing groove last week. It's just not the same on a substitute computer, you know (or maybe you don't - maybe you're not strange in that way like I am). Some days I didn't even turn it on (Gasp!).

Okay, I'm just rambling now. I need to go check on the laundry and get ready for church. The boys come home today after being at a junior high retreat, so I'm excited to see them and find out how it went. I've been praying that God would grow them and they would be closer to Him. We'll find out shortly.

The picture doens't have anything to do with my post. I just love the beauty of Kissing Camels and Pikes Peak and the snow and the blue sky and how amazing and creative God is. Enjoy!


Back Online

My computer was in need of some tech help, so the guy came and picked it up on Saturday morning. Hubby had his laptop at home from work and said I could load the DSL if I wanted. I started to, but then I decided that maybe a day or two away from the computer would probably be good for me.

And it was.

Hubby loaded the DSL last night, so I figured I'd sit down this morning and catch up a little bit. I've gotten some reading in, which I have enjoyed. I need to get my review of Crossroads written and posted. I also plan to scrapbook some more today. And I need to go marinate some chicken for dinner.

But I'm back online. :-)


Sister Freaks

I suppose if my kitchen were entirely (or even mostly) clean and one section of my counter not looking like it requires an archaeological dig just to locate the tile, I might have realized I have one other book for my Spring Reading Thing list. It's Sister Freak: Stories of Women Who Gave up Everything for God by Rebecca St. James. I think it's geared towards teens and young women, but it sounds inspiring. From inside the cover:

"Around the world, every day, young women are boldly putting themselves forth as believers - regardless of the cost. Sometimes they suffer for it, but they never waver in their conviction that God has called them to serve Him. They are confident. They are committed. They are 'Sister Freaks.' These are words that evoke strong images - images of extreme faith . . . of radical devotion . . . of sacrifice and triumph. They are life-changing words. And they are at the core of the stores related within these pages. Here you will meet contemporary women and historical figures from around the world - from Joan of Arc to a Midwest high school student to an Olympic athlete. But whether the account is of a historical heroine or a woman of today like you, the stories are always inspiring. Their goal: to demonstrate to you that living radically for God can change your life, whether halfway around the world or in your hometown."

I'm almost done with Crossroads. I should have a review up in a day or so.


Spring Reading List

Woo hoo! It's finally here - the Spring Reading Thing hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. I've always loved reading. It all started with Dr. Seuss when I was quite young, continued on to my "devouring Nancy Drew books" phase, and on to today. Now I go to the library for one or two books and walk out with 10 or 12. A favorite pasttime is going to bookstores. There was a time in my life when hubby and I would go out to dinner with my parents on a Friday or Saturday night, and then for recreation, we all went to Tower Books (they were open very late) and hung out for an hour or two. And then there was Amazon and Alibris - let's not even get started there! Needless to say, reading has always been very big in my life. So here's my Spring Reading List:

Crossroads by Nancy Moser - I'm part way through this one. I've not read anything by Nancy Moser, but came across her books at the library the other day.

The Invitation by Nancy Moser - a series by Nancy Moser. If I enoy this one, I'll read the rest.

The next three are a series that my Mom told me about. They sound very charming and enjoyable. She had just received them in the mail and was kind enough to loan them to me.

O Come Ye Back to Ireland by Niall Williams & Christine Breen

When Summer's in the Meadow by Niall Williams & Christine Breen

The Luck of the Irish by Niall Williams & Christine Breen

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real by Neta Jackson - I've seen this series but haven't read any. I figured I'd give one a try.

If Diane Mott Davidson has anything new during the Spring Reading Thing, I'll definitely be reading that. Oops - nix that - after checking out Amazon, I find that her next book is due out in September of this year. She'll be on my fall list.

Also if Robin Jones Gunn has a new Sisterchicks book, that will make my list. What was it someone said - it's brain candy. That's probably a good description. They're pretty happy and pleasing books.

side note: everything I posted beyond this point was lost and had to be re-done! ARGH!!!

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore - I love her stuff! She is an amazing, annointed woman of God. I am always challenged and encouraged by her.

Upgrade by Kevin Swanson - Kevin is the Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado and spoke at a local homeschool meeting recently. I was fortunate to win a copy of his book.

Mom's Everything Book for Sons by Becky Freeman - I've read part, if not all of this book, but I'm always up for strengthening my relationship with my two boys.

Strengthening Your Grip by Charles Swindoll - Anything by Chuck Swindoll is fantastic. Once again, a "started but not finished" book.

I must say Thank You to Katrina for giving me this opportunity for accountability to complete some books I've started. I'm always up for a good book (or two or ten!). I don't have a picture of my stack yet, but might do that later today or tomorrow.

Happy Reading!!


Homeschool Blogging

I was over at Sprittibee's reading about the Belated 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards when it occurred to me that I don't really blog about homeschool at all. Not that I'm looking to earn an award, but it was just one of those little things that pops into my head. Then I have to ask "why?" Why is it that I don't blog about something that occupies much of my time? In fact, it really is my day job.

Maybe it's because I think I'm an inconsistent slacker. Ooh, nice, aren't I? It's just that a couple of weeks ago, I tallied up the school hours so far this year. In the state of Colorado the homeschool laws require the boys to be taught for an average of 4 hours per day, 172 days per year, for a grand total of 688 hours per school year. We are a bit behind. No surprise there. So we'll be doing some longer days, some weekends, etc. But I'm sure we'll get there . . . eventually.

I think the only area in which I demonstrate any consistency is INCONSISTENCY. Then I wonder why my kids can't get it together? Ha! Ha! Fortunately I know that God is bigger than me and my human frailties and He can still train and educate these kids in spite of my nonsense.

I don't think I push my kids hard enough. I get tired of doing battle with them, and while it shouldn't deter me from doing what's right, sometimes I am deterred. Particularly in the area of writing. They both really hate it. Actually, my oldest is much better about writing this year. The baton has been passed on to the younger son to be at the pencil and paper battlefront.

Some days I'm not sure I'm doing my kids any good whatsoever. My foolish brain will start to wander off to thoughts of private school, or (gasp!) public school. But the Holy Spirit doesn't let me go very far before bringing me back to the hard facts. God has called me to homeschool our boys. It doesn't matter what I'm capable of doing. It doesn't matter how much the younger son fights with me. It doesn't even matter if I see fruit or not. All that He asks of me is to OBEY. So that's what I must do - obey.

Obedience for me in homeschooling can be summed up with five P's:

Pray, pray, pray, and pray some more!!!
Plan - every Sunday for the upcoming week.
Persist - stay on task! Don't worry about the house, email, etc.
Patience - pull this out of the aresenal for every skirmish.
Praise God for His strength, His direction, and His love and care for me and my family!

When I am obedient, the day goes well . . . even when the day doesn't go so well (if that makes any sense). When I am calm, prepared, and girded with prayer, the storms can come crashing in but I will make it through with the peace of God that passes all understanding.


Insomnia & God's Plans

The boys & I were supposed to go to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science today with the Scout troop. However, last night turned into one of those dreadful insomnia nights that I experience every so often. I just could not get comfortable nor get to sleep.

Sometime after 2:30, hubby woke up and pointed out the time to me (he thought I was just reading WAY too late!). In actuality, I was reading for the third time since I couldn't sleep. I was so frustrated that I came out to the couch, crying, with my blanket, pillow, and alarm clock. Here I was needing to get up in 3 1/2 hours and be one of the drivers for the museum trip. I felt like I'd be letting the troop down if I didn't go, but I was also starting to get concerned that it wouldn't be safe for me to drive on such limited sleep.

The trip to Denver would probably be okay, but by the time we came home, I could be extremely tired. To top it off, I was reading an article about people falling asleep at the wheel in Reader's Digest. I would not only be driving me and my kids, but also a few other boys. This brought to mind a dear friend who died 3 years ago because he fell asleep while driving back from South Dakota.

Hubby came out and talked and prayed with me, after which I still tossed and turned for awhile. I eventually fell asleep sometime after 3:30, but not before thinking about God's perspective on all of this. Sometimes He intervenes in our plans in ways that make absolutely no sense to us. I also thought about how some ladies from our church were going to hear Elisabeth Elliot speak in Denver a few years ago. My sister was supposed to attend, but she called me early in the morning and said that she hadn't been able to sleep. She really sensed that she wasn't supposed to go. She didn't know why, but believed that God had used her insomnia to keep her home.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

Logically, I would think that I should be allowed a good night's rest since I had to drive to Denver. But maybe there was a reason God didn't want me to go. I may never know (this side of heaven) what that reason was, but I have to trust that He really is in control of my life. I have to not fall into the guilt trap of thinking that I messed up the trip for the Scouts. (Which I didn't - I think they even all fit into one vehicle.)

On a side note - my youngest son really didn't want to go to the museum today. He said that weekends were not for doing a lot of walking, but for relaxing! I think he prayed that he would be sick or the trip would be cancelled. It never occurred to him that his prayers might result in a really bad night for his mom. Of course, it never occurred to him that his prayers could be bad for anyone - just that he wouldn't have to go. I think he felt kind of bad this morning when he found out what a rough night I had. Maybe God will use this to teach him to think through things a bit before praying for them.

I was really looking forward to the museum trip because the boys and I are studying electricity right now and they have an interactive Ben Franklin exhibit. But that's okay, we'll go see it later this week and I suppose that by ourselves it may be a bit more educational. In the meantime, I slept and slept and slept (on and off) this morning and now probably have sleep overload instead of sleep deprivation. Oh well, the one thing I do know is that God has my life safely in His hands and He loves me and cares for me more than I can even fathom. So I will trust Him.

Caitlin Browne

Your Irish Name Is...

Caitlin Browne

Who knew?


Just Because

You Are 30% Left Brained, 70% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Sprittibee had this over at her blog and I ended out with the exact same response of 70% right brained, 30% left brained. I doubt we answered the questions the same, but I too, could have answered some questions either way - it's just a mood thing. What often happens to me is that my right brain and left brain argue with one another and I end out looking like a crazy woman.

LB: "Let's go the way we always go. It's tried and true and much more logical."
RB: "No, this feels like a better way to go . . . this time."
LB: "But that's completely irrational, just stick wtih what we know."
RB: "Oh wait! If we go this way, it will actually be shorter. Besides we've never gone this way before. There might be something interesting to see."
LB: "You're just wasting our time. Go back to the regular way."
RB: "Nah, let's shake things up a bit - just because."

And on it goes. Meanwhile my poor children (who thought they knew where we were going) are asking because they don't recognize the route. I'm then forced to explain my right-brainedness (?) in opting for a new and different route . . . just because.



A number of years ago, I read about Letterboxing in a Rubber Stamper magazine. I always thought it would be a lot of fun to do with the boys. Last year, we finally got our act together and made some stamps, printed out some clues, and went to hunt out our first box. Unfortunately, after two different attempts, we could not locate the box. I'm not sure if we didn't follow the clues correctly or if the box was MIA.

Today we went in search of another box and we FOUND IT!! It was very exciting to follow the clues and actually find a box that someone placed in a secret place! This particular box has had many finders over the past few years; in fact, they are on their second book.

The funny thing is that when I made our stamps, I didn't know what I wanted mine to be, so I made a shiny sun. My boys wanted stamps - a bat for my oldest and a rabbit for the younger. When I saw them today, I begged my son to let me have the rabbit since it goes along with Bunny Trails! He wasn't real big on the idea at first, but I told him we could stamp their book "Bunny Trails & Son." He like the pun and decided that was okay.

Next week should be pretty nice again, so I think we'll be off in search of some more boxes. Woo hoo!

Daylight Saving Time

Well, I stand (or sit, in this case) corrected on Daylight Saving Time. It is not savings, but saving. Kind of answers my silly question from yesterday's post. I came across this column at Encarta which offers a bit more in the way of explanation. So for those of you who are curious for more information, check it out.



I woke up this morning with a headache and promptly went back to sleep. Of course, not getting up until 9:00 a.m. really through my day off track. Then it seemed that every thought in my sphere of life wanted to come bounce around in my head for awhile so it was a rather discombobulated kind of day. I couldn't focus on anything courtesy of those stray and random thoughts. So it's only fitting that I'm posting odd little bits and pieces today.

Reading Fun
I've come across the Spring Reading Thing a couple of times the past few days. Being a fairly avid reader, I figured I'd jump on board the challenge. You have to click the above link since I don't really know how to make the picture below into a link . . . yet.

Blog Links
I also added links to some of the blogs I like to read (when I have time - or not). I just haven't figured out how to make this my full-time job! Ha! Ha! My eyes would dry up and hand would cramp up from all that mousework.

Creative Fun
I went to my stamp club tonight and made the cutest photo wallet! If copyright allows, I'll add a picture of it. I love stamping and scrapbooking, but I sure don't do it often enough. I have found that creating is as important to my health as diet, exercise, and sleep. When I don't have any creative outlet for an extended period of time, I'm just out of sync.

Our federal taxes are done and e-filed! Woo hoo! Now I can get state taken care of and we are finished. Whew! That's always such a nice feeling to check that one off the list.

Daylight Savings Time
Hard to believe we already set our clocks forward this weekend! I don't know if it really makes a big difference, but I like it being light later.

BTW - how is it that we actually save daylight? Don't we just take it from the morning and tack it on at night? Some marketing whiz must've come up with the name. It really should've been Daylight Shifting Time.

Today was a first for my kids - we went to a laundromat. I've had my share of time in them (and apartment comlex laundry rooms), but the boys have never had the opportunity. We had a sleeping bag that desperately needed cleaning (younger son thew up in it at Scout camp). The one I planned to go to was gone so we called Mom to find another one (we were already out and about and me without a phone book in the van). The first one smelled like moldy clothes - ewww! So we found a better smelling location. It took 12 quarters to wash & dry that sleeping bag. That and snack money. At least I remembered to bring my own detergent.

Hooray for White Boards
Since I was so scatter-brained this morning, I did a big brain dump on our white board in the dining room. I love white boards. It sure helped to get all those free-floating thoughts out of my head and in writing. Amazingly, I think I got through about half the list. Maybe the other half will get done soon. Either that, or I'll erase it for school tomorrow and then . . . ???

Well, it's off to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a headache-free, wake-up-on-time kind of day.


The Little Things

So often I find that there are things I just sort of ignore or blow off because they are, after all, little things. However, God is showing me how it's really in the little things that the substance of my life comes to be. So what exactly are the little things?

Thinking that I can do a day of homeschool "flying by the seat of my pants." Ha! Ha! That is absolutely ludicrous! I cannot sit down and relax once my kids go to bed, thinking this is time all for me. It is only free time for me if I've wrapped up the loose ends of the day - papers graded, tomorrow's plans ready to go, perused my day planner, etc.

Thinking that it doesn't really matter of the dishes aren't clean tonight. Of course, this totally goes agaist FlyLady's "shiny sink" theory! The dishes don't magically get clean and I will be scrambling the next day to figure out when they'll get washed. I don't have to report to the boys where clean dishes are - in the cupbard or in the dishwasher, or worse yet, there are none! We'll be using paper this morning. Besides, it really does make my morning SO much nicer to see a shiny sink in my kitchen.

Thinking that it's okay to pay the bills a day or two after the paycheck comes in. That's financial suicide. Every day where the money isn't managed, some portion (increases exponentially every day) of it is flying right out the window at breakneck speed!

Thinking that one package of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls won't affect my weight loss efforts. Ha! That one little package came with its friends, the other five little packages and they feel terribly neglected sitting in the cupboard without their friend. Naturally, I feel sad for them and must eat them as well. Nothing like an extra 1,620 calories, 72 grams of fat (30 of which are saturated), and 156 grams of sugar over a few days!! Heck, one little package is 6 points, for all you Weight Watchers folks out there! Good grief!

Thinking that some things are too little for God to be concerned about; that I don't really need to ask Him or seek His input because it's "such a little thing." If God wasn't interested in little things would He know the number of hairs on my head? (That's saying something, because I have a LOT of hair.) Would He have formed all of creation so intricately and beautifully? Would millions of snowflakes be unique? Would bees fly?

Habits and character are all built one tiny little step at a time. Life happens one moment after another. It is far too precious and fleeting to think that little things don't matter. They are the building blocks of everything.
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