pushing through emotionally, spiritually, and relationally with Jeff. We're doing this. This navigating a strained relationship but doing it well. We're communicating no matter how much it hurts or how grueling it is. And, we're kissing and holding hands and laughing and moment by moment growing stronger. There is hope in the dark. We were listening to the sermon in church this past Sunday and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 came on the screen:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Jeff nudged me. It was a simple reminder of what we had covenanted over 24 years ago. He was saying without words, "that's us! With God, you and me we won't break." So, yea, pushing through.
reading J.D. Robb's Delusion in Death. It is book 35 in the In Death series. There are currently 47 in the series. I am re-reading the series this year averaging 3-4 each month so I should be able to re-read them all plus the latest that came out in September before the end of the year. I am reading aloud to Jeff The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Our relational difficulties originate in our minds, each facing a different battle raging war against us. I'm hoping as we tackle this book together we will be able to apply truths to our lives that will ultimately win this battle and - change our minds. Generally, I have with me at any given time 3-4 books in a variety of genres because I rarely know what I'll be in the mood for. I have in my leather messenger bag Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly. I have read his exceptional historical, Killing Lincoln and a friend mentioned she thought I'd find Killing Jesus fascinating.
listing out to-do's for our trip to Austria later this month. Right now it's mostly a mind-list rather than a penned list. Jeff and I are bouncing things off each other, decisions are made and plans finalized and mentally checked off the list. Order euros for the trip, pick up gifts for the staff, solidify small group plans for the coming week - check, purchase suitcases - check, etc. Much of the trip is decided because it is a mission trip and a working mission trip at that. Any touring for the most part is planned in advance for us as well. I'm going in without expectations personally other than I'm expecting God to move mightily!
trying new recipes again, recently. I think over the past month or so I made about 5 or 6 new recipes. All of them delightful. I made these Korean BBQ Bowls with Garlic Rice and, boy, were they delicious. A bit time-consuming but worth it! Inspired by this recipe for Big Mac Sliders I fashioned my own, that tasted way better than McDonald's Big Mac's. Using this recipe for Garlic Basil Chicken with Tomato Butter Sauce as my template I made another out of this world pasta recipe. When I was telling Jeff about what we were having for dinner he asked one question, "Where's the mozzarella and provolone?" Sent the recipe over the top! Copycat Chipotle's Burrito Bowls with this chicken, our own homemade salsa, these green peppers and onions, cilantro lime rice, pico de gallo - all yummo! Finally, who would of thought adding a fried egg hard to a classic BLT and topping off with a spicy chipotle mayonnaise on multi-grain toasted bread would make the taste buds burst open. Everyone enjoyed this simple but decadent - sandwich.
purchasing a new roof for our house. We were the very first house in our neighborhood 22 years ago and the last house - thank you Lord - in need of a new roof. We have been saving for quite some time now and finally took the expensive plunge. Just in time for Hurricane Michael to come through as a strong tropical storm; picking up last minute gifts for our Haus Adelweiss hosts and partners in ministry and travel accessories such as a neck pillow.
watching NCIS on Netflix from the beginning. Oh how awesome and strange it is to begin at the beginning. I am also watching the older show, Star Trek Enterprise (with Scott Bakula) which I'd never seen before. I love the opening theme song sung by Rod Stewart, Faith of the Heart. Because I'm watching it on Netflix you can skip the introduction if you choose to but I often don't because I love the beginning song with accompany photo stories. We also recently watched Blackhawk Down (October 3). It is the anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia. Jeff had been gone less then a month and we watch the movie every year to remember the fallen.
needing to - it's a big, long list - get my scrap room and office purged and organized, recently ordered prints from Persnickety Prints into albums, update my statement photo wall in my living room, find new curtains for the living room to 'finish' the living room décor, plan out a mini kitchen and dining room renovations involving paint, shiplap, and lighting fixtures, plan out a mini master bathroom renovation involving paint, flooring, and lighting (mostly), and think about Christmas.
deciding on what kind of album for our Austria trip. I have it narrowed down to a choice between a 3 x 8 travel album (which I own) and a travelers notebook (which I also own). In addition, I'm contemplating what size album for our December Daily. I'm considering 4 x 6, 3 x 8, and 6 x 8. I also make a 30 Days of Thankful album every year and while I will more than likely go with another 4 x 4, I might do a 3 x 8 or a 4 x 6. But, I also saw recently someone made a travelers notebook sized album. Decisions!
enjoying Pic Tap Go, Becky Higgins online class on iPhone photography tips and tricks, catching up on One Little Word videos and mapping out plans to catch up some of the assignments, eating homemade tacos on Tuesday's again, finally getting some much needed rain and when it is all done some cooler temperatures; evenings when we eat together as a family (even if it is on television trays in front of the - television - watching a show); reading our latest selection aloud; our small group meeting together again regularly and loving our study by Matt Chandler on the book of James; hanging out with Melinda on Sunday mornings and getting to know her a little better; scrapping the simple, everyday moments and not being worried about 'great' design but simply getting the stories told; reading a lot!
soaking in the wonder of the skies. It doesn't escape my notice or my thanks to God for showing me His glory in the brilliant sunrises and cloud formations, even the ominous storm clouds.
Each month since the beginning of my All About Me album I have been documenting a few present participles; those regular verb forms that often end in -ing and express what I've been doing and what I am currently doing. Actually, I have been documenting my months this way for quite a few years, but this year is the first time I've created scrapbooking page(s). Fitting - for the year I document all about me.
This past month, July, I chose listening, wearing, loving, eating, studying, reading, and watching...and I just now noticed I have two loving's:) I created a 2-page 6 x 8 - of course, since my album is 6 x 8 - and added a front and back 3 x 8 insert. Ali Edwards recently re-supplied her store with full-sized 3 x 8 protectors so I stocked up in anticipation of creating more inserts, plus a 3 x 8 travel album, in the foreseeable future.
Then there is the page of present participles I made for June. Crazy how time gets away. This summer has been a slump for documenting and, especially blogging. Definitely one of my favorite pages, lately.
Again, lists. It is a familiar way for documenting; I can say a considerable bit more often than not when I write in lists. Numbering and present participles are assuredly in the pros column for documenting stories. I love the mélange of present participle possibilities (How's that for an alliteration?).
Each month this year I am creating a 1- or 2-page currently page to include in my All About Me album. It is a present participle, those -ing words highlighting what is currently happening in my life. I must say my album is growing exponentially, far more than I ever believed it would. After all these years of scrapbooking I just never considered a book about me.
It has been - enlightening, empowering, revealing.
I'm loving every minute I take to consider - me.
April is, well, April. I am...
moving, swimming laps and deep water running. It is so, so good. My prayer is that it will get me in the shape I need for my mission trip in October - an intense, working mission trip.
needing, to purge the office/den and organize the entire room. It is beyond out of control. I cannot even stand to walk into the room. I need one location for card making and one for crafts because I no longer scrapbook with any physical product what-so-ever.
watching, New Girl. Oh - my - goodness! Rolling on the floor laughing - funny! I am also watching Stargate: Atlantis, again, because when Ashley and Brad were here that is something we started watching so I figured I would finish the series. Lastly, I am watching ALIAS! Oh, Yes. I AM! It's the whole admiration and respect I have for kicka**, strong women.
reading, The Dry. I finished it in a day. It was - engrossing. The Simplified Life (TBR), If You Only Knew (only the best non-fiction Christian book I have ever read!), Cinder (TBR), and Reunion in Death which I am re-reading right now this minute.
loving, that we just heard that Jeff has been added to the list for the GO AUSTRIA mission trip, along with me. I am so excited we are going to get to go together.
eating, I joined AE Wellness Tribe on Facebook and it is extremely motivating me to get my act together to better eating habits. I'm not going Whole30 all the way but I need to manage what I'm eating better and kicking most sweets goodbye and eating more vegetables.
planning, an anniversary trip to Charleston, our favorite place to vacation; and, it has been awhile since we have been there. Trying to figure out a birthday gift for Ash, too!
This is an earlier page that I neglected to post. Almost every month for the past several years I have been recording a present participle list of current happenings for the month. As I said this page was created earlier this month so everything on my CURRENTLY list, those little February details, has already happened.
This year I am still creating a list of currents, but, instead of simply blogging my list I am creating a page for my All About Me album 2018. My January page is here. I am enjoying this years All About Me project immensely. I'm setting aside my discomfort at having my picture taken and instead I'm snapping plenty to choose from. And, I'm recording all about me because I rarely have; it's always been scrapbooking about the boys, or grandchildren, or the girls. I'm a worthy subject, too. Having a blast!
Simple 6 x 8 page using Ali Edwards' Story and SOTM kits.
I am creating an All About Me album for this year, 2018, and my plan is to regularly make pages for that album. Sure, I'm creating other things, too; like, my One Little Word album - LIGHT and I am doing a clean and simple Project Life 2018 album. Then, there is the Stories 2018 album.
Just digitally scraping a little bit this year.
Or, is that too much?
I'm not dreading any of these projects in the least. In fact, I'm seriously excited about 2018.
Will I miss some weeks in Project Life? Yes, but, I see a good finish. I'm even thinking - this year...this year I'll finish a One Little Word album.
My plan is to continue my monthly Currents in 2018 but instead of just 'blogging' about them I'm making a page for my All About Me album - because they are about me. And, here is January's page. Some months will have many more 'currents', or -ing words, but this month I only included 5 to get me started on the year.
Digitally, I used Ali Edwards Story kits For the Love and Me.
planning on completing a December Daily® album again this year. Although, it will be more a December stories album as I won't document a story a day but rather December stories throughout the month. It means I might have a story a day and I might only have a story every other day, or even more stories if the month is filled to the brim.
putting lists together. Christmas cookie baking list. Christmas movie watching list. Christmas music listening lists. Christmas gift giving lists. Christmas stories list. Christmas groceries list.
studying Seeking a Heart Like His, the life of David with my daughter, Ashley. Our second study together. So good.
hoping to fill my December with giving and being present and fun memories.
adventing... (Yeah, I know, probably not a word! But, I'm claiming it anyways!) with She Reads Truth's Joy to the WorldIt is my hope that my mind and my heart will remain (or move into alignment with) true to the real reason for the Christmas season.
making Christmas ornaments this year for Jeff, the boys, and I to commemorate the year we fell hard for Pistol shooting.
considering my One Little Word for next year. Decided I would not participate in a class next year but I may document my One Little Word using a previous class' assignments. Not sure though because the years I don't sign up for a class are the years my one little word has more meaning for me.
watching the final season of Longmire, started the Good Witch, and re-watching Eureka, here and there.
lookingforward to Jeff being home for good and not having to be out of town each week for work. Not sure what the next job will entail for him but I sure hope it is closer.
reading slowly right now but I still have hopes that I will reach my goal of reading 100 New Books in 2017.
putting together three boxes supporting Operation Christmas Child. Our church is a drop-off collection site and just the size of the church means we can gather a lot of shoeboxes for children around the world. I read an article in my research for what to put into the boxes that said "only 1 in 200 boxes collected were for boys age 10-14." My heart melted. That statistic just went to 3 in 200 boxes for boys 10-14 because we packed full 3 shoeboxes with a soccer ball (plus air pump), tools (screwdriver set, hammer, pliers, wrench, tape measure, work gloves, carpenters pencil), hygiene items, and school supply items. I wish I could see those young men's faces when they open theirs from us.
taking on a homeschooled student and teaching her meteorology for the remainder of her senior year. Because it's a small class - her and me - I think we'll be able to get through most, if not all, of the curriculum without having to negotiate out any important parts. One of the ladies in my small group probed the question, "maybe you should offer your meteorology class to the homeschool community - for pay..." As a former homeschool mom and having been in the homeschool community I could see a different, unique science class like meteorology being - profitable. Definitely, an idea worth considering.
considering another round of Whole30. Or, at the very least, a Whole14. I need a jumpstart to eating whole as I have gotten off kilter and can't seem to find my way back without that accountability. I've also considered a food and fitness journal. I've recorded things like this in the past and it has held me accountable. Definitely worth - considering.
enjoying, immensely, my Bible study with Ashley. Five days a week we do our own thing working through the book of Esther. Then we FaceTime, usually on Saturdays, and then individually we watch the next weeks video lesson to prepare for the coming week's lesson. We spend a good hour on FaceTime reviewing the lesson and catching up on life, of course; enough time that I have a near-dead battery on my phone when we're done.
eating simple dinners this month. Meat + Vegetables. It is very whole30-ish and I find I am a happier person when I'm not spending so much time in the kitchen in this season of my life. I was sharing these thoughts with Jeff the other day. I've already solidified I'm a bad*ss cook and it is just time to scale back on our eating style. A grilled meat whether it is pork chops, pork steak, steak, chicken, or salmon plus a pile of vegetables or salad works for me, delightfully.
managing my to-do list weekly in a simple little journal by Becky Higgins. I was inspired by how she uses a simple notebook - this business woman of a multi-million dollar company - uses a simple notebook for her daily tasks. I thought I'd give it a try, but daily wasn't working for me. So, I decided to write out weekly tasks and just add the date if it is date-specific. I must say this is working for me. At the beginning of the week I begin filling up a page (I've only needed one page thus far, but would definitely turn the page if I needed a second page for my list of to-do's). I may still carry-over items to the following week, things like craft projects yet to finish, but I am busily lining through items regularly.
orderinga boatload of scrapbook pages and album pages from Persnickety Prints with their huge Columbus weekend sale event. Over the past month I've been uploading pages regularly, about once a week, getting ready to hit order prints. Because we have slower than Christmas internet I can only upload photos during non-peak usage times which means I have to upload in shifts. Because I planned ahead I was ready for the sale and saved a ton of money (more than half price)! I ordered pages for our Stories 2017 album, 52 Gratitudes 2017, 52 Weeks of Giving, and the up-to-date pages of my #100 Days project, all of which have their individual albums. I also ordered a couple prints for framing.
reading Tier One Wild by Dalton Fury, a new-to-me Delta Force and counter-terrorism novel and series - a fast-paced enjoyable read. Brave the Wilderness by Brene Brown is up next, plus, C.S. Lewis' Reflecting on the Psalms is on my nightstand. If I get to bed early enough I'll read a chapter before lights out and only during the week while Jeff is working out of town. Reading always puts me to sleep fast.
binge-watchingStargate Atlantis. I know, right? Again? Yes, again! It's an old favorite. I recently finished the Blacklist seasons available on Netflix and I started catching up on Hawaii Five-O but realized why I gave up on the show. It's cheezy. The main character, McGarrett, is solid cuteness, but his abilities to 'read' a crime scene seems faked, thus, cheezy.
loving my bedroom. It is definitely my happy place in the house, right now. I sit on the ottoman to put my new boots on and glance around the room at all the pretty, happy things. Art work covering one wall. Our gorgeous-still four poster bed. Rows of books on shelves loving built by Jeff. Quilts. Quilts. And, more quilts all blues and white. Pretty matching bedside table lamps. Scripture verses 'written' on our walls. I love just walking through the bedroom and immediately getting a smile on my face.
recovering from Hurricane Irma. We live with marshland in our backyard that is off the Forrest River and as the waters rose from the storm surge from the Hurricane the tides, then, brought in the surging waters and, then, hiding the marsh grass that normally blankets the area just beyond our tree line. The water rose into our yard, into the barn built by Jeff and the boys, covered the legs of the picnic table raised on slab pavers. Jeff walked into the waters with hip waders until he could walk no more without the water getting into the waders. This was our backyard after the brunt of the storm was well to our west, although we were still gusting, winds into the 40's.
repopulating our home back to status quo after the storm. We hadn't decided not to evacuate yet so we packed up everything we were planning on taking with us, which included safes, important papers, and our scrapbook albums, into bins. We transported things we didn't want to get wet that might be irreplaceable or simply painful, difficult, or expensive to replace and moved them to our second floor room away from potential flood waters rising. These included quilts and books. Once we decided to ride out the storm (mostly because I had to work during the storm), we left things - just in case - but now we are repopulating book shelves with books and quilt racks with my beloved blue and white quilts. Getting rugs put back down and finding some semblance of order again.
reading,slowly, The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Slowly because it is C.S. Lewis and I have never known anyone who could read anything by C.S. Lewis anything but slowly. Except maybe, and I stress maybe, The Chronicles of Narnia. Even then one reads The Chronicles of Narnia slowly in order to savor every word. But, I am reading The Four Loves. Therefore, slowly is imperative to glean any understanding of his lofty yet wealthy insight.
drinking water. Occasionally, coffee. No sugar. Plus, creamer. No sugar is a grand endeavor and I have succeeded since July 10, 2017. I am consuming water insatiably, unreservedly. And, I love it. Just water. Plain, water. Of course, the drawbacks for someone my age drinking pretty much non-stop throughout the day, especially when I wake up and before bed, is that I drag myself out of bed in a deep stupor multiple times a night to use the bathroom. On the plus side I stay hydrated and can quickly tell when I am de-hydrated.
studying the book of Esther with Ashley. When Ashley was last here she asked if we could do a Bible study together. In particular, a Beth Moore study. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to do a Beth Moore study and a study with Ashley. We'll individually watch the videos and individually complete the weeks homework then we'll face time our discussion of the lessons. I'm totally siked! I'm going to try and continue my study of Genesis on my own as I'm not ready to abandon it.
hanging the last three pieces of artwork I have recently acquired onto the walls of our bedroom. I am almost done decorating our room, yet, they say a well-decorated room is never truly finished. This wood sign is one of the pieces. I also picked up two pieces from Hobby Lobby, both made of wood, too.
planning a bit of craftiness this weekend. I haven't crafted in quite awhile but since I'm visiting Jeff this weekend - so, while he is at work I will play. I have two projects planned, one pretty simple and quick, and the other might take a couple hours - of fun.
binge-watching The Blacklist. I haven't seen Season 4 and it has been so long since I've seen Season 3 I decided to start at the beginning. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and got through half of season 2 and decided it was bad for my mental and emotional health. Years and years ago I purged books from my shelves for the same reason - they were bad for my mental and emotional health. It is just the way it has to be.
reminiscing of a weekend trip and stay with Jeff in Augusta
enjoyed scoping out restaurants for our dinners.
readingInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson, The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, and the Power of Habit.
searching for a crafty type project to make; maybe, cards; maybe, not; but, something to get my creative juices flowing - and for a sense of accomplishment.
finishing up decorating our master bedroom. Final touches and calling it good. It has been a long time coming. The joy has been in the details - the personal.
binge-watchingAgents of Shield, Season 2. So far, so good. I did pick up Season 4 of the Blacklist but I'll probably need to re-watch before I begin the newest season on DVD. I succumbed to pressure from my sub-conscious and bought the complete set of Flashpoint - an oldie but goodie!
loving the visits from Ashley and Brad and the kids, regularly, every couple of weeks (instead of once or twice a year) now that they live within hours from home.
frustrating that people have to rob other people. Someone broke into our vehicles. Some items were stolen from Jeff's work truck. Why do people take what is not theirs? Police called. Fingerprints taken. Lessons learned.
rejoicing with Ashley and Brad that they found a school for Ian, in a classroom built just for him.
celebratingJohn's accomplishment! He fixed my toilet all by himself.
drinking coffee, with no sugar, out of a new mug I picked up at Home Goods in Augusta while I was visiting Jeff and he was at work.
catching up with digital scrapbooking projects: 52 Gratitudes in 2017 and 52 Weeks of Giving. Plus, working on some digital scrapbooking pages, too.
eyeballing (and saving for) this leather sofa for our living room in Burnished Saddle leather.