Category Archives: life

Big Kids, Pushing 20, and Life

Big Kids

Calvin turned 15 on April 28, and Charis was 8 on May 8!  Bookends of our children.  Babies are completely gone from our household.  Evangeline was 12 in June.  Nevin is 13.5.  Did we ever really believe this day would come?  In a year we will be the parents of 3 teenagers!

Pushing 20

Years of marriage, that is.  I am so grateful for the nearly 20 years I have had with Mark.  We often feel overwhelmed with life–the mundane things, the difficulties, the struggle, and the tension we feel because we believe circumstances can be better.  But when I consider all God has done for us, all He has brought us through, all that we have faced together, I can only praise God for the husband of my youth.  I want to praise Him for all the trials, too, but I am not always so good at that.  Still, I know that I much prefer being in God’s hand and knowing He is faithful to the idea of trudging through life without Him.  I am so thankful that He gave me Mark to trudge along beside me!


I continue to learn much about how to live.  I think the greatest thing about my forties has been realizing how naive and stupid I really am.  It is so much less stressful to realize I can’t solve all the problems I face.  There is a freedom in this realization that leads me to greater faith in God’s strength to hold me up and move me forward.  I am more free to trust Him more.  I wish I could say I have gotten completely out of His way, but I can’t.  I am just learning how to let Him work more.

Psalm 90:12-17 is a great passage that reminds me that my days are numbered and that I need to follow God’s leading and make the most of what I have been given.

Psalm 90:12-17
12  So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13   Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14  Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16  Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Sometimes on a Sunday

No Wednesday post this week . . .

A list of what’s on my mind, in no significant order . . .

1.  I lost the pedometer for the work insurance walking program.  I was in the girls’ room in the middle of Evangeline’s sleepover last Saturday, and it fell off.  The next day, Mark and swept all the junk out from under both girls beds, and we didn’t unearth the lost pedometer.  So I have not kept up with my plan this week.  I plan to replace the pedometer, but every one after the first one costs $25.  So I might have to wait to get back on that particular tracking method.  However, I can get a fairly nice one for $4.99 from Aldi later this week (according to their sale paper), so I am thinking I’ll get it and keep track myself until I want to spring for the $25 one.

2.  I enjoyed a day of relatively little running around yesterday, and the next few Saturdays look pretty clear, too.  Praise God for the break.  We even had people over last night.  It was a nice change.

3.  We were reminded of God’s faithful providence in two very tangible ways this past week.   Praise God!

4.  Still praying for wisdom, direction regarding the kids’ schooling next year.

5.  A good friend lost his job this week.  He is the father to 4 great kids, and the husband of a faithful wife.  Please pray for him and all those who are unemployed and underemployed.

6. My mom is having a medical test this coming Tuesday.  It is a new health concern, so I am praying for the results to be insignificant.

7.  Mark’s grandfather is in hospice care.  He and Mark’s aunt who cares for him are on my heart and mind.  Praying for them, too.

That is all.  A busy week ahead.  Enjoy God’s blessings.  Remember Jesus’s death and His glorious resurrection and the hope it brings.

Wassup Wednesday 12–Life is Complicated

Kids:  So we are coming to the end of one semester of homeschooling all four kids.  Are they doing ok?  Yeah.  Are they learning as much as they did at school?  Maybe.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it my number one choice for their education? No.  Am I learning anything in the process?  Youbetcha!

Some good things are happening on the school front.  Today, referring to a book he is reading as part of his schoolwork, Calvin said, “This book is sorta hard to stop reading.”  He doesn’t mind reading, but he’s not a voracious reader like his brother, so this is big for him.  I think Charis’s reading is improving, too.  Teaching it to her is just turning my hair more gray every day 🙂

On another kid note, football is finally done!  Can I hear an Amen Sista!!!  This is the second week in which we have just been beside ourselves looking for things to do in the evenings instead of taking a boy to football.  Of course, Monday nights and Saturday afternoons we still have to take Calvin to basketball practice, but it is like a walk in the park compared to football.

Me:  I was a little sick during the month of October, and now, midway through November, I feel significantly better.  We have also been evaluating our life situation, and we have come to the conclusion that I probably need to work full-time.  Just today, I completed a fourth interview for a new full-time position.  It has really been a pleasant interview process, and, of course, I am wanting the job.  But if I don’t get it, I am trusting God for something better.

If I get it, there will obviously be some changes to the education process at our house.  But for now, I continue to be a homeschooling mom.

Books: Still in HP4 and Simply Christian.  I don’t have  much to say because I am so darn slow about reading lately.  But did I mention I have done 10 loads of laundry in 2 days?  The basement floor is visible now.  That’s something, right?

In Conclusion: This seems like a bailout post, but it will have to do.  Over and out until next Wednesday or until something significant happens before then.

Wasup Wednesdays – 5

News:   Had strep throat over the weekend and a houseguest.  This is not the best combination, as even though the guest was really Mark’s guest, I felt bad I couldn’t be more “hostessy.”  Thankfully, I went to urgent care on Sunday, tested positive for strep, and the appropriate antibiotics were prescribed.  Tonight, I feel no soreness in my throat.  It is just a little dry.  So I think I am officially “over it!”

School:  No. 1 son visited a local Christian high school for 8th grade visitation.  He was thrilled with the place.  Now, we are praying for a miracle that we will be able to send him there next year.  Honestly, we are praying that Mark will continue to get business and that if needed, I would be able to get a real job that pays decently by the time next school year roles around.

No. 2 son kicked into gear today and finished all his school work for the week.  I have wondered how long it would take him to realize that homeschooling would be easy for him.  Now he is free to read all the other books he wants to read until Monday.  BONUS: He thinks he’s just having fun, and he doesn’t even realize he is still learning something.  🙂

Eldest Daughter is still distracted by the things of life outside school work like her DS, riding her bike with  the neighbor kids, “writing songs,” getting her ears pierced, etc.   She has to think about all these things a lot.  Then she has to ask me questions about them.  She will get her work done . . . it will just take a while.

Wee Girl, otherwise known as Sweet Petunia, is improving in reading.  I started using a simpler phonics curriculum (Phonics Pathways), and she likes it.  She also still does lessons in Explode the Code everyday, and I think the writing and practicing of the different words in each exercise is making a difference.  Finally,  I was encouraged by a veteran homeschooling mom from church who told me that her older girls (19 and 16) were not fluid readers until 3rd grade.  They both eventually became fine students/readers.

I also finally dug out some of my old homeschool books, and I found all my “Five in A Row” books.  I plan to start using some lessons from them to incorporate a little “art” and other unit study elements for the girls.

Simon seems to be feeling better.  Yay!

Books:  I finished the second Harry Potter book a few weeks back, and I thought for sure we had the paper back of book 3 laying around.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it.  So I requested book 3 from the library.  I am looking forward to reading it.

I also picked up a McCall Smith book (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) for 70 cents from Goodwill.  I had to return the ones I started to the library before I finished, so I am looking forward to reading this one at my leisure.

Finally, I am re-reading Anne of Green Gables–out loud to the girls some and ahead on my own.  It is just a decadent little pleasure for me to read Anne again.

Thankful that football season is half over.  I can’t wait to have our lives back to normal and to rid my house of the horrid lockerroom smell currently residing here.  Ew . . . Gross . . . Disgusting  No words can describe the awful odor eminating from my basement.  Febreeze and air freshner are not enough, but we’re trying to make use of these tools to get us through to the end of October.  What will I do with my evenings when there’s no football practice?

My Second Grid Iron Guy

Here are shots of Nevin, all ready for football last Saturday.  It was picture day, but we, being frugal folk, will not be purchasing the professional photos.  So we had to take a few of our own.  Nevin’s team won their game this week 21 – 20–it was a nail-biter!  Nevin was most excited because he got to start, and he was one of the captains for the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

Just to give you a little perspective, here’s a shot of the family lineman when he was a little younger:

They sure do grow up fast.

Early to bed,

night owl, or burning the candle at both ends?  I tend to be option #3 because I enjoy having time to myself, and “both ends” seems to be the only time to get that precious commodity.

I got to thinking about how some people are early risers, others are night owls, and some of us are both ends people when I noted the times of people’s comments on blogs or facebook. Truth be told,  I guess I am really am a night owl who wants to be an early riser, too.  So I pretend I do both.  Really, I drag myself out of be in the morning on most days after staying up too late the night before.

Right now, it is 12:45 am, and I intended to be asleep by midnight, but I am waiting for some nasty stomach symptoms to subside.  Two doses of the pink stuff have improved things, but I can’t sleep just yet.  So what else is there to do but blog about some mundane thoughts running through my mind?

So, which are you?  An early to bed early riser?  A night  owl who seems to have a daily hangover?  A “I only need 4 hours of sleep a night, and I am still Mary Sunshine who runs 4 miles every day?”

Talk amongst yourselves.

Wasup Wednesdays 3 – Or, Facebook Redux

Big news this week–Charis lost her two front teeth last night.  Here’s a shot of her and another of her with her big sister celebrating. Forgive the poor quality, please.

 And, football games started in earnest over last weekend.  Nevin’s uniform is not completely in hand yet, so photos of him in his gridiron gear will have to wait.  For now, here’s a few shots of Calvin ready for his first game.





Tasty Tuesday

 (I am sure this won’t be a regular thing, but I could resist the opportunity to alliterate.)

Jennifer’s Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 medium onion
3 small zuchini
1 8 oz . pckg. mushrooms
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. ground turkey or beef, browned
30 oz. spaghetti sauce

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seed, and place meat side down on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Brown 1 pound ground put aside.

Chop vegetables while meat is browning and squash is baking.  Big chunks are fine.  In a large frying pan, sautee onion, mushrooms, and zuchinni in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft  (your preferred consistency).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add other italian seasonings like garlic, oregeno, and basil as you like them.  Drain extra excess liquid from the vegetables, then add diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce and heat for a few minutes.

When the spaghetti squash is finished baking, scrape meat of the squash from the outside peeling.  It will come off in clumpy shreds.  Mix the spaghetti squash thoroughly with the vegetables and browned meat.

If you are a cheese lover, this dish is tasty topped with shredded cheddar.

This is a great low-carb alternative to pasta.  It gives you the flavors of an Italian dish without the carbohydrates.  The consistency of this dish also sort of reminds me of ratatouille.

Life Update

The Walking/Running Thing

I intended to walk on Tuesday, but my knees disagreed.  So I took a day off, and Wednesday I took a short mile walk with our dog Simon.  I am eagerly yearning for the days a week or two from now when this gives me energy and doesn’t make me sore and tired and weak feeling.

Mark’s Work

Mark has been home more working on his writing projects, and that has been nice.  He is working on leads for other writing projects, and he continues to work at a couple part-time jobs.  Our hope and prayer is that I will continue with my one part-time at-home job, and he will be able to bring in the rest of the income we need to manage our family.  As always, we covet the prayers of anyone who is willing to offer them for us.

The Kids’ Stuff

The kids are all doing pretty well.  We only have one playing a sport right now.  Calvin is playing with the local Catholic parish’s baseball team.  Their pre-season tournament games have been rained/snowed out, so they haven’t played yet.  If we have a dry couple of days, they are slated to play the first of the pre-season tournament make-up game this Friday evening.  No matter how Calvin really does at baseball, it is good for him to be out there with the other boys.

Evangeline just finished a year with the Kirkwood Children’s Chorale. Participating has really improved her singing voice, and they performed two major concerts, one smaller concert, and at a couple of off-site venues.  She had her “re-audition” to see if she will move up to the next choir on Tuesday evening.  We are waiting to hear how it went.

All of the 3 older children participated in a drama workshop last weekend.  At least one of them, and possibly all three are planning to audition for a summer production of a local Christian theater group, and this workshop was to help them prepare for the audition experience.

Nevin played indoor soccer through early March.  He is still my biggest reader, and he will spend as much time as we let him reserving new books to check out from the library.  He hopes to play baseball on the Y’s spring instructional team starting in May.

Charis is about to finish K.  It is hard to believe, but she will be 6 on May 8!  She is reading, and playing, and happy.  Here’s a picture that her K teacher took near the daffodils outside their school last month.

The children’s school is considering its options for next year.  It may have to close if its leaders can’t find a new meeting place.  Updates from the leadership sound hopeful, but no details have been given.  With the school’s uncertainty about next year and the question of affordability,   I continue researching all the homeschooling possibilities available to me because it seems likely that is the direction we will head with school next year.


I am satisfied with life and God’s grace that is evident in it.  I have many blessings, and I see God’s hand in everything and every circumstance around me.   Yet, I feel a little restless and I am not really able to verbalize exactly what I am feeling and thinking about.  I am praying for peace and a more content spirit and the courage and faith to keep moving forward.