around here.

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Around here Jeff and the boys are putting in some hours out at Compassion Christian Church for Journey Build days. Jeff is on the set building team and one of a team of three leaders in charge of building a petting zoo slash barn stalls. The Journey is our churches big interactive and outdoor Christmas production that takes you on a journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. Because they're expecting 30,000+ people to attend this year they need upwards of 1000 volunteers to pull off the two week event plus tons more in these months prior to getting it ready. It's a grueling two weeks but, man, is it worth it!

Around here I am walking...and walking. Every day. And it's a good feeling. Has the numbers on the scale changed? Nope. Since, I'm a glass half full kind of girl I'm calling that a positive thing. Because numbers on the scale can go down - but, they can go up too. If the numbers haven't changed, it may mean it'll take a while to see some results from all the walking, but, the numbers on the scale aren't climbing. And that, Praise God, is a good thing.

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Around here we're laughing and crying at the same time. We are being lauded by our friends for our creative discipline of our boys, laughing on the outside, but we are crying on the inside and just between us because we are having to become creative in our parenting when normal discipline isn't working. It has been months since graduation and while the agreement was college or a job - neither is on the near horizon. So, first we had sons living outside for most of the day and all of the night, only allowed inside once I come home. It's hard core but we were at a loss. We just don't understand their lack of motivation to get a job. With some guidance from some godly men we've are even getting more creative: we moved them back inside and we'll be hitting their wallets...Maybe, this will be the push...and just like that John has a job.

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Around here I'm pulling out a canvas, acrylics, and paintbrush and doing some creating using the inspiration found on my Art Inspiration Pinterest board. I'm going with Indigo...blues, an art piece for our bedroom wall above the bed. I've procrastinated too long. I know why, too. 

It's fear.

Plan and simple. It's that whole, 'I'm not a creative so anything I create will be unworthy of display'. I know, right? Crazy thinking. But, there it is.

So, I'm overcome my fear and I painted.

Around here small group is starting up again. I'm soooo glad! We're beginning with our traditional, as that is what it has become, low country boil. Everyone brings something for the boiling pot plus a side to share, or an appetizer - or two; maybe, a dessert, a salad or some chips and dip. Yummy food. Even more fantastic is the fellowship, the friends - and laughter ensues. After our opening get together we'll meet at our place once again, weekly, for bible study, prayer, and fellowship. It's a good thing. We'll be diving back in for some Andy Stanley videos because he's Bible-based, plain speaking, and tells-it-like-it-is - biblically. And then there's desserts.

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Around here Jeff shifts construction job sites. After 20 months driving 1 hour 1 way and 1 hour home each day he (and we) are looking forward to the 30-minute drive reprieve. We're not sure how long he'll be on this job site as it is in its last 7-weeks of work. But, there is a possibility a phase II will be solidified before all is said and done. Unfortunately, it is still very long days and no days off! But, man, he did a beautiful job on The Inn, at Palmetto Bluff.

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Around here we've welcomed (long-distance) our fifth grandbaby! We were introduced to Samuel Cole Louk on August 13. And I am anticipating, anxiously awaiting, a month before I can get the time off to visit my newest grandson.

Around here I stepped out of my comfort zone recently and listened to the nudging that has been going on by the Holy Spirit for the past several months, more loudly now that my body has been mostly cooperating, and visited Hope Academy here in Savannah for an interview to be a Homework Coach, once a week. It was a delightful, inspiring, endearing conversation with the missionaries of the academy. I can't wait to receive my first call to serve a struggling student.

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Around here I've made a few changes to our living room decor. Nothing biggie. A couple end tables and a couple lamps. And, 4 Engineer Prints of my 4 oldest grandchildren. Whilst 'tis true I have 5 grandbabies, to be fair I'll wait about a 8 months to a year, like I waited for Noah. It's only fair. I love the end tables, the lamps (even though the picture showed them a tad darker), and the professional photos turned Engineer prints look way better - and professional - but, super cheap! 

 

 


Around here.

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Around here we're in a bit of an upheaval here.

Around here life is changing. Not necessarily for the better - or for the worse. Just changes.

Around here it is one thing we can always count on. Life will be about changes.

Around here the operational tempo at Jeff's job site is about to pick up even more as they wind down to job completion and turn the building over to it's owners. Stressful situations, tempers flying, frustrations not being handled well. The work Jeff has done for this 50+ million dollar project has been amazing, but he is very ready to move onto the next project - with an interim downtime when he has surgery on his foot and he'll be recuperating. We're praying for a Savannah job site next. Less drive time means he might not have to leave work so early, nor arrive home so late. It would be a welcome change.

Around here John and Jarrod were working full time at a lawn care service organization. The owner goes to our church. My young men have had years of experience in lawn care with their own business. It seemed a good fit. But, it's hard, backbreaking, exhausting work. They've gone from hours of down time to very little free time before it is time to go to bed, or get up for work. Navigating these changes have been a huge adjustment which they haven't necessarily fared well, or are faring well. They're experiencing life after high school. They chose not to attend college this year which meant they needed jobs! I'm not sure what they expected. But, they wake up at 4 am, get dressed in their work uniform, eat breakfast, pack their lunches, and they usually have enough time to finish their Bible study. They come home, eat dinner, wash up remaining dishes I haven't already taken care of, get showers, maybe an hour of television or reading, and off to bed. Struggling through the changes - and then boom, just like that some things happened at their jobs (no water for 4 hours because the crew lead leaves with the water cooler - in 98 degree weather and takes his lunch; the owner gives a safety briefing one day about the necessity of drinking plenty of water and short breaks in shade to prevent heat stroke and the very next day throws safety out the window and tells his workers to disregard their health and well-being) and we are not allowing them to return to the unsafe environment. The boys were disappointed they saw the duplicity of a man who is one person at church and another in his business. 

Around here one thing that isn't changing. John, Jarrod, and I are going to continue our Bible study together. Sure, the day of our study together is changing, but we're staying in the Word. Because the Word of God will never return void (Isaiah 55:11) this time together, our study time, will grow us, grow them.

Around here these two were taking driving lessons and have been driving (with Jeff), oh, the places they go. A Cooper mini, with driversed.com plastered all over its body, pulled up to our drive way and picked them up for their two-hour block lessons and then the Cooper mini returned and dropped them back off with their grade report of their driving. It's a pretty cool set up! This change, my young men driving, has been a crawling, laborious, begrudging change. This will also mean higher car insurance rates for us, bills to pay for them, so, interesting changes ahead.

Around here because John and Jarrod were working, this means every bit of dinner, including preparations which John and Jarrod would always help with, are now on me. On pain free days - no problem. On pain full days - it's, well, - painful. Thus, for our July menu, I am making it super easy on myself: Salads, requiring no cooking, just preparation (if I need to I can prep vegetables sitting down); sandwiches with little preparation, pasta's which require little preparation and light on the dish-dirtying business. I'll spread food preparation out over a couple of hours, if possible. I'll change things up without hesitation if my body just can't handle the work. I'll be giving myself the grace to say, "I'll meet you at...for dinner."

Around here one of the most dramatic changes is Joan will be moving out of our house into an independent living home. We've visited the home and we were all blown away by this opportunity. The lady who runs the facility was gracious and endearing. I fell for her sweet playful disposition and the home immediately and it made it so much easier going forward. It is a wonderful opportunity for Joan and a new adventure. I'm praying she flourishes!

Around here we don't like to think of ourselves as failures. I wanted, hoped for, doing this mother-in-law living with me well, but, even after hours and hours of spiritual counseling, digging hard into the Word of God for guidance, I was at a loss. I was coming up empty, ill-equipped to handle this any longer. My marriage was suffering dreadfully, hanging on by a thin thread, I was suffering, tremendously. Thankfully, Jeff took the lead and made the tough decision before something broke. Before I broke. A friend recently spoke wise words that have done heart-felt wonders into my world. She said, "This isn't a failure. It just is what it is." She shared some other words of wisdom that wound their way into my soul and between Jeff making the decision in the first place and now her words, I am finding peace. It feels so wonderful. I am relieved.

Around here I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Around here it will mean traveling in town more to pick mom up on weekends, for church, or for a family pizza night. Taking groceries and ice to mom. Just visiting.

Around here we are celebrating our Independence Day. Grillin' some pork steaks, cooking up some corn on the cob, and heading downtown to Riverstreet for fireworks, an annual tradition.

Around here changes. Just changes.


a lovely sunday.

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This Sunday was lovely.

Oh yes, a few - hiccups.

But, lovely nonetheless.

Sunday began early. 6:15 am.

We put a cheese bake of sharp cheddar and Monteray Jack pepper with green chillies in the oven. We took it to church to share with the Elevate volunteers. Elevate is our churches' K-5 childrens ministry. Jeff, the boys, and I serve each Sunday morning at 8:15 in various capacities. Jeff is a sheriff, I work the guest desk, and the boys serve in the technical department. A couple times a month we bring breakfast to share.

Church service was amazing. We set in the coffee bar, share a coffee or soda, open our Bibles on the table, greet friends walking by, and enjoy the service as a family around a table where we hold hands during prayer, even our sons grab our hands and join in agreement.

This service had a drama presentation associated with the sermon on serving. A group of volunteer singers performed songs written on serving to the tunes of Broadway musicals. Awesome! Then Cam's sermon on serving was very affirming. We have figured out along the way that serving is but another act of worship to our Lord.

When we got home John and Jarrod prepared the Jalapeno Poppers for our small group dinner that evening

After a brief time of family upheavel the boys spent a couple hours working on their Eagle projects. The upheavel was centered around their Eagle projects - inactivity. But, I think we might have turned a corner. I hope we have turned a corner.

Jeff worked on Blue trying to figure out what is wrong with the speedometer without any luck. He washed the new truck.

I pulled out stamps and stamped a card. It is the beginning of my next 'set' of cards that I'm adding to my collection to sell to raise funds for John and Jarrod's Eagle project. It is a simple, but super cute thank you card. Besides taking them to sell at co-op I'm not sure how else we'll be able to sell them but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Late afternoon we headed to the Farmer's for our small group gathering and Low Country Boil. Normally, small group is in our home unless we are sharing a meal. The Farmer's have a great layout for a large group gathering. The men cooked up the Low Country Boil and the women gathered in the kitchen to begin chatting about - everything. The food and fellowship was awesome - as usual. We have such an amazing small group.

Home by 8:30 or so and we watched a couple of episodes of NUMB3RS, our present Netflix find.

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

And our week has begun with: the boys and I studying our Bible lessons, Beth Moore's Daniel, and listening to her next lesson to begin our week off right. I read aloud a chapter in our Lord of the Rings Literary lessons.

I bought a FitBit band to replace my torn one and I have already walked today. I finished The Girls Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs and have begun Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig.

And it is 3:30 on Monday afternoon and it is only 83F degrees.

a lovely monday.


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around here Ash, John and Jarrod and I have been trying new Naan pizzas for lunch. So good so far. I made a new dinner dish this week. Jarrod took Ian and Wyatt out for some sprinkler time on one of the warmer days. We've been clothes shopping for Ashley, to the Farmer's Market for fresh produce and some yummy Rosemary bread to enjoy with my Roasted Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper, Pesto Fettuccini, served up last night. Jeff, John, and Jarrod helped cut down some trees last night in preparation for this weekends activities.

I'm enjoying my grandsons immensely. They are silly and loving, cute and ornery, can be pistols at times but just mostly fun!


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little boys. big movements. loud noises.

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guns. cars. silliness. playfulness. temper tantrums. obedience.

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lots of water. and more water. so good.

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old games of identifying color revisited.

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panera bread bagels. enough said.

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reading books. loving uncles.

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19 years celebrated. lots of little notes of love everywhere.

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handsome devils.

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handsome devils - squared.

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end of homeschool co-op year tests. and projects. and looking forward to just our homeschool.

We have almost doubled our house size of people. The living room from about 8 in the morning to 8 at night is filled with toys - everywhere. The television is playing Veggi-Tales. The boys are exhausting but I wouldn't have it any other day. Ash is still so much fun to be around. It's been a really good week. We, Jeff and I, celebrated our 19th Anninversary. We went to a movie - Iron Man 3 and ate at Macaroni Grill and I had the most amazing Penne Rustica that I've already found the recipe for. Jeff left me these little notes everywhere for me to find throughout the day. Way better than a card!

So glad homeschool co-op is just about over. Today is our last day. It will be a nice break. Boys still have a bunch of school to do to finish out the year. And they have Boy Scout Merit badges that need tending.

Great week around here.


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CZ Tempalte for Big Picture Classes

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around here I've immersed myself in a new Big Picture Classes class called Clean and Simple by Cathy Zielske. It's all about Photoshop Elements, Design, and Scrapbooking and I'm loving everything I've already learned. The above page is my first assignment.

around here it is warm but not hot with cool evenings and nights.

around here we are studying the continent Antarctica in our Geography lessons. So much fun.

around here we are reading aloud White Fang by Jack London. I think it will become one of the boys' top favorites.

around here we have completed our taxes for the year. Yuk! But, we have an amazing tax accountant who makes the entire process fun. Thanks, Sherry.

around here I'm struggling with body aches and pains from plaguing knee issues, back (in various spots) and neck pains, possible gall bladder flare up, and some bladder issues - thus not sleeping well.

around here I have been drinking lots of water everyday! This is a huge step for me!

around here I have added some fruit to my diet - just out of the blue.

around here Jeff and I have a date night this week. It's one of my favorite parts of the week. We have a date night every other week (twice a month). It is something we both look forward to.

around here it has been a rather unproductive week for me although Jeff has worked a bit on my shelf. And we've gone to church. And the boys have gone to boy scouts (with side issues that we are dealing with). And we had a great small group gathering.

around here, life is good.

 

 

 


around here.

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We are getting ready to go to Homeschool Co-op. I teach Meteorology to high school students. John and Jarrod take Spanish II, Art 2D, Physical Science, and World (Bible) History.

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John has been practicing for his Physical Science project presentation on Gravitational and Centripical Forces. He's gonna' do great!

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My scraproom is a mess again. I have begun purging and organizing. I have about a 2-inch stack of scrapbook 12 x 12 paper to give to my friend Amy - so far.

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We are eating homemade pizza tonight and watching Zero Dark Thirty. Jarrod is grounded from television so he'll be joining us for pizza but not pizza and a movie.

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I have creative plans. As I've been going through bins and boxes, and baskets and strainers (yes, I have four little strainers in my scraproom that hold - stuff) I have found items I need for project ideas that have been perculating around in my mind.

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I work this weekend. So, I guess with the latest information April will in fact be my last month of work. God is good to have given me another 8 shifts - 4 shifts a pay check is decent money; and then, not sure what? I just know God will provide. Most often when money is tight He just gives us the grace and peace and contentment and provision needed to plow through during those times.

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I'm already anticipating my grandsons arriving. And my precious daughter. Can't wait for some girl time - everyday!

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Jarrod has been placing two tiny little Lego spiders at various places around the house - on the table next to my chair; in front of the coffee pot where I get coffee; in my chair where I sit; on the computer desk in my studio/office where I do computer work...and it never fails to give me a chuckle because I never know when he'll up and move them to the next place. I've had many smiles this past week.

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Jeff has been working on a bookshelf for my studio/office. As soon as he puts it in it will be full of books - no problem! Can't wait.

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God is good.

 


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around here. We've been playing a bunch of games; it has been 'spring break' from homeschool co-op but I haven't let the boys' take completely off from school, although we've had some good fun and the work has been limited. They've had to work on their Physical Science projects, take a Physical Science test, work on Algebra, and we've read aloud of course - that's our favorite; and, we'd probably do that anyway.

We didn't have Wednesday night church so we played a couple games of Yahtzee; it was 500 Rummy earlier in the day, just the boys and I, and Sorry on another night. And we've laughed and had fun all the times.

Of course we've watched Stargate SG-1 (we are currently in Season 8 - again) and we watched NCIS and NCIS Los Angelas on Tuesday.

Jeff and I have a date tonight and I we'll be watching Olympus has Fallen. Looking forward to another date night. So it's been a laid back, easy going week, with bunches of fun.


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around here. A messy studio that desperately needs cleaning and organizing. I really can't create anything traditional with my studio as is. Any creating is on the computer and right now I'm in the mood to create with my hands.

I made a new recipe this past week (recipe coming!) - Stromboli's!!! So simple; but man, they were good.

Last night we had to hit the drive thru window at Sonic's. Busy all day with studying for exams today, packing for campout this weekend with the Boy Scouts and then both boys had to go to Food Lion and purchase food for their Troop for the weekend. It is really funny, the mind of young boys when it comes to food shopping.

This week I've been organizing, labeling, and planning all surrounding Literature. Their current binders got labeled more specifically which I mimicked for next years American History. I've planned out the remaining books for this year and made files for next years books; labeled and aligned in the order we'll cover them. I'm extremely pleased with how American Literature is coming along. I will continue to find Study Guides and Lesson Plans for each of the books we'll read next year and I hope to have the entire year planned. 

The boys always lay out their camping gear on the living room floor so they can see if they are forgetting anything. They will have to ride up tonight with the remainder of the troop and Jeff is going to have to head up in the morning because of work issues.

Our curriculum for the 2013-2014 year is almost all here. We got their American History/Literature in the mail this week. We're waiting on some supplemental materials for History and then we should be done purchasing curriculum.

It's been a busy week! My goal this weekend is to tackle that studio. Jeff is building a set of bookshelves for books really because we have a bunch of books in the attic that need to be accessible to John and Jarrod for school. The shelves aren't for my studio but I really need to organize, purge, and clean so I can create. I'm in a slump! I need out of the slump.


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off to co-op this morning, then the boys and i will head to the library (one of our most favorite places; then, to top off the evening hoosier man and i have a date night; and then, to top off a great week i don't work this weekend and can sleep in with everyone else.

i've got a few blog posts coming up: pin action and 40 recipes in a bowl at the least; i'm working on next years homeschool subjects and curriculum already and not shown here but i swam twice (count 'em two times) and both times i swam 1 mile. soo good!

valentines day at home with homemade BBQ chicken pizza and salad + SKYFALL. Can't beat that! really!