Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010

Today I'm thankful for God's word.  This past week has been very rough on me.  It's tough basically raising two kids on your own.  And don't get me wrong . . . Dave helps out when he can.  But right now, that's just not happening much at all.

Our devotional reading at church this morning came from Philippians 2:13-22.

(13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (16) Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

I feel like the Lord is really trying to speak to me here, but I'm having a little trouble "shining my light" so to speak.  The kids have been MORE than a little difficult this week.  Disobeying at every turn, being destructive and acting downright rebellious.  Everything I've done has been for naught . . . they have come right behind me and undone everything I've done.  I feel like I'm labouring in vain.  My boiling point is reaching it's limits, and my murmerings are spilling over.

So today, I basically took the afternoon off.  After lunch, I laid down with the kids and took a nap with Eli.  Although it was short lived (my sister-in-law had to call and let off steam), I felt better just for the fact that I had given myself permission to rest.

While I was listening to Stacey vent . . . my oldest was doing everything she could think of to get into trouble.  Jumping on the furniture, running at full speed through the house chasing the cats, playing with her bubble gum and getting it all over the place, and going outside in the snow in her UNDERWEAR.  So I sent her to her room. 

Then she gave me lip, when I got her out of her room to practise her spelling words for this coming week . . .

And just when I thought things couldn't get worse . . . Eli stuck a paintbrush in his ear.  I'm waiting for a call back from hubby, who happens to be working in the E.R. tonight.  I'm really not needing a trip to the Emergency Room tonight, but we'll see.

I'm going to take a deep breath, bathe the kids for bed, and pray for STRENGTH.  Because . . .

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  (Philippians 4:13)

Tomorrow is a new day . . . and my favorite day of the week.  I, and only I, can make it what it will be, and I vow to make it a spectacular one. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010

Today I'm grateful for my family.  Although I'm mostly single parenting while hubby is going to school and working full time, he got up early this morning and fixed me breakfast in bed (per Bayleigh's orders), and played a game of Parcheezi with Bayleigh before he left for work.

And before he left, my mom called saying she wanted the kids to come over to play for awhile.  It was an unexpected event . . . me not having anyone at home to take care of . . . so I spent half an hour out in the snow taking some fun, off the wall photos.

Someday I'll figure out how to process my photos in PSE, but until then, auto contrast is just going to have to do!

I picked the kids up two hours later, and proceeded to do some more sorting upstairs, but my heart just wasn't in it.  SO unmotivated today, and I think I could sleep for DAYS.

I know how busy this next month is going to be, and the thought just makes me want to hibernate.  A layout a day, Library of Memories class, basketball camp every weekend . . . and tons and tons of photos to edit.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.  I've GOT to shake this off and get back in the saddle, so to speak . . . or February just might kill me.

I think I'll brew up another jug of sweet tea.  It may be the only thing that gets me through the next month.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010

Today I'm thankful for perseverence.  I managed to maintain for another week!  And I woke up to snow . . . beautiful, beautiful snow! 

Although that means slogging out in the cold to put wood in the stove, it's still beautiful.

I got our new DVD player set up, put together some new shelves for my retreat,

and worked on a new project.  If you love photography and are looking for a unique challenge, check out my other blog, for more information.

This weeks challenge was "finding your voice."  Next week's challenge is going to be AWESOME!  Can't wait to get started.

(*Eli has been waking me up at 4:30 a.m. for the last three mornings, and I'm seriously missing my 2 hours of peace and quiet before the rest of the household gets up. Gonna see if I can get him lined back out this weekend. It's KILLING me.  I'm off to bed.  Hope I can pull in more than 4 hours of sleep tonight!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010

Today I am once again thankful for sunshine . . .

although it didn't last all day,

I made sure to get out and take as many pictures as I could.

Even with frost covering the ground . . .

I surprisingly managed to search out some sunlight indoors today, too!

I spent my day enjoying the sunshine, and bouncing between sorting more stuff in the spare bedroom . . .

and editing photos.  Even though I can't really see much improvement in the above photo, when I look back at the "BEFORE" photos, I feel like I'm making good progress.  So I'll just keep that "BEFORE" photo in the back of my mind, when I think I'm not making any headway.  I ended up sorting, tagging, editing and deleting over 1000 photos today and I'm only half way through the month of January.  I MUST learn to take my time and get it right on the FIRST shot, so I'm not spending so much time behind the computer editing.

We're getting ready to retire our old DVD player.  Apparently at almost 7 years of age, it's not quite capable of handling the newer DVD's.  Technology is all fine and good, but sometimes I'd really like it to slow down a bit in certain areas.

Bayleigh is reading up a storm now.  The above book was 64 pages long and she read it to me in about 10 minutes.  I'm so tickled with her progress in reading.  So exciting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010

Today I have so many things to be grateful for . . . ice cold sweet tea, a loving family, and SUNLIGHT!

I've been bouncing back and forth between the spare bedroom (aka the junk room) and my retreat, trying to get things sorted and put in the correct locations.  I'm finding that I have quite a task ahead of me.  While I was shuffling from room to room, I noticed a shaft of sunlight . . .

so I immediately dropped everything, grabbed my camera and headed outside for a few shots.

The sun has been pretty elusive recently, and I was so glad to welcome it once again!

I snapped several shots of Butterball, playing on the deck . . .

and I stood still for a few seconds too long.  This little guy climbing my pant leg, seems to think that every time I come outside, he needs to play with the tassel on my jacket.  He's a rather frisky character, but I hope he doesn't continue to be this playful as he gets bigger . . . I might have to get something to protect my legs!

And I hadn't taken a picture of Fuzz Face in quite some time.  She's one of my favorites, and I actually caught her sitting still for a moment.  A rare occurance indeed!

And I couldn't leave you all without a picture or two of my mess in the spare bedroom.  One slight corner cleared out . . .

and three more to go!  Right now . . . I'd love to be able to twitch my nose like Samantha, and have it all done.  I'm really getting tired of all the sorting and putting away, but I know that once it's done, it will stay that way.  So tomorrow I will force myself to move onward.

I fixed salads, deer steak and beef noodles for supper tonight . . . and I filled up on salad and sweet tea.  It is indeed the simple things that make life worthwhile.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

Today I'm thankful for a long nap.  The last few days I've just been wiped out and unmotivated.  Of course, it could be, that I've just been putting off sorting the rest of the memorabilia . . .

So I started off the morning by changing the horizontal shelves that hold my cardstock, into vertical.  I think this will be much more user friendly.  It didn't take very long to switch around, so I procrastinated some more and cleaned off the table top . . .

and sorted more books, and teenie tiny embellishments. 

Once I got all that put away, there really wasn't anything else left to do, but dig in . . .

I have things as far back as my great-grandparents . . .

so I've been using this clear lidded file box to sort things by person, and then each person by decade (or milestones).

For example, toward the front, is my immediate family.  Dave, myself, Bayleigh and Eli.  And then I moved on to parents, grandparents, and at the back are some items from my great-grandparents.  In my own file, I've broken it down from birth through high school, then another file for college, then a file for "the dating years" for hubby and I, another for our wedding, and then another for family.  I know that's a lot of break down, but if I'm looking for something in particular, I can find it almost immediately.

I'm sure that my work on this is only beginning.  (I still have a good portion of the spare bedroom to tackle.)  But at least I've got a start!  I have a few more piles to go through in my retreat, and then I'll start working on the spare bedroom.  I won't be meeting my self imposed deadline, but at least I've kept up a forward momentum!

As for the rest of my day . . . Eli was HORRENDOUS.  I'm glad he's feeling better, but GOOD GRIEF!  He sabotaged everything I did today, and was VERY disobedient.  I let him push, but only so far.  He has continued to push right up against "the line" all day, and I'm worn out from disciplining him.  His little "time-out" chair got a lot of use this evening, and the television got a much needed rest. Tomorrow just HAS to be better!

Oh yeah . . . Dave broke one of the back wheels off the truck, on the way back home from cutting wood.  Guess we'll have to assess the damages tomorrow.

January 25, 2010

Today I am thankful for health and wellness.

After I posted last night, Eli got violently ill.  I stayed up with him until 1:30 a.m., when he finally fell asleep, exhausted.  When he cuddled up with his teddy bear, I couldn't resist getting a picture . . .

The temperatures are steadily dropping again, and when my sister-in-law asked me to come down and take pictures of some of her dogs, I almost froze my franny off.  As I was heading back home, I happened to spot this orange and yellow twine jumbled up in a mass, right outside the fence, where they feed hay to the cows.

It was a bright spot of color in an otherwise gloomy landscape.  (If you look closely, you can even see a few cows in the background.)

The rest of my day was spent organizing, sorting and purging memorabilia.  WHAT a monumental task!  I, for one, will be glad when I've got it all filed and put away.  And now that I've got a system, it SHOULD be easier for me to find what I'm looking for, when I need it.  Or at least, that's the plan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010

Today I'm thankful to see the sunshine once again!  I can't even remember the last time I saw it, and although the temps were a bit colder today, at least we had sunshine!

During Sunday School, Eli "built" words with the alphabet blocks, while I taught the girls about being Fishers of Men.  We had a wonderful fellowship meal after church, and as soon as we all got situated at home, both Eli and Bayleigh started in with . . . "I'm hungry!" 

So I gave them a few oranges to tide them over until dinner time.

I traded my niece for my second table, brought them into the kitchen and scrubbed and oiled them to pieces.  They are both now residing nicely in my retreat.  Just a few more things to sort and put away and my retreat will be finished for the time being.  I need to order seven more cubes, and see if I can find enough old half-pint, wide mouth jars to hold all my ribbons and fibers.  The search has begun!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010

Today I am thankful for the simple things and the strength to maintain.  I won't bore you all with more cleaning photos, but I DID manage maintain what I've accomplished so far this month, and I also managed to go through the clothes in my dresser and do some serious purging.  I went through hubby's dresser, too.  He'll never miss a thing. ;)  It was a VERY productive day.

Bayleigh had a play date this afternoon with her cousin Kasey, and her other more distant cousin, Ella.  They all looked like they were having a blast at Aunt Stacey's.  Of course, when I got there to pick her up, they were eating ice cream and drinking Mountain Dew.  What's not to like about THAT?!

Eli had a good time too.  He played with one of Aunt Stacey's Guinea Pigs. 

I'm not really very fond of the little creatures.  They look too much like rats to me, but as long as Stacey has them at her house, Eli can go visit and play with them all he wants.  Just so long as he doesn't want to bring one home with him. 

I picked up one of my old pieces of furniture in my mom's basement this evening, too.  It's way out dated and completely out of style, but something about it, makes me feel all happy and warm inside.  Maybe it's the beautiful workmanship, and all the little details.

I'll be cleaning it off and adding it to my retreat tomorrow.  So you'll get to see more pictures, then.

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

Today I'm thankful for a chace to help out.  Bayleigh's school had a "Hats for Haiti" day, and the kids all got to wear hats and bring .50 cents to donate.  Here's the meager donation . . .

and here's the hat. 

I made sure I wiped her face before I sent her out the door to meet the bus.  My child couldn't stay clean to save her soul.

Another gloomy, muddy day.  It certainly had an affect on my outlook today.  I'm almost always positive in my thinking, but today I just felt wiped out.  Eli and I took a two hour nap this morning . . . before NOON, but I felt even MORE tired after the nap.  I hope I'm not coming down with something.

After the nap, I headed upstairs to work some more on my retreat.  Now that I'm down to the nitty gritty of it all, I'm finding I'm getting hung up on perfection again.  (That's why I hadn't started this little project MONTHS ago.)  Now that I know what I need to get things finished off, I'm just going to have to sit tight and be patient, until I can find what I need to finish things off.  (Or maybe I'll tackle making the project on my own.)

When Bayleigh got home from school, she went out to play with her kitten, and spotted another stray.  (A tomcat to boot!)  We're already feeding six outside cats (and whatever possums I haven't gotten to yet) and another mouth just isn't in the budget.  So, for the first time in my life, I shot a cat.  I'm still feeling awful about it, but I know there are times in life when a person has to make tough decisions, and this was just one of them.  We don't need any more baby kittens running around.

Speaking of cats . . . have you ever bathed a cat?  It's not easy.  Last night hubby had cooked a roast, and set the pot full of grease outside.  The kittens apparently got into it, and Butterball must have BATHED in it.  She was FILTHY!  So we brought her in and gave her a bath in the bathroom sink.  I don't think she's a fan of warm running water . . . but at least she's squeaky clean now.

Here is a small amount of what I worked on today . . .

I truly do love my DYMO label maker.

It makes my life so much easier.

Now . . . I'm really needing to get in a better frame of mind.  Today is one of those days I'd just like to file away and forget about.  Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010

Today I'm thankful for the opportunity to help out others and the environment at the same time!  I volunteered to take my turn at picking up the neighborhood recycling, and dropping it off at the local pick-up spot.

And since I was already going to be in town, I loaded up a few bags of Bayleigh's outgrown clothing for my friend Nicole.  I'm glad to get them out of the house, and in a way, it's another form of recycling. 

On the way to drop everything off, I spotted these bright colors against all the rainy gloom, so on my way back home, I pulled off on the shoulder of the road and snagged a few shots.

(*I know people must think I'm nuts, standing out in the rain on the side of the road taking pictures . . . but I really don't care.  Now if I could just get the same attitude when I go into the "big" town; maybe I could capture some really interesting things. I'm just a LOT selfconscious about taking pictures of total strangers.  I mean what if somebody came up and (heaven forbid) confronted me about it?!)

When I got back home, I focused on cleaning out all the little plastic drawers for my embellishment cubby . . .

and the drawers from the cart mom snagged for me at a garage sale.

I've been sorting everything by color, but my eyes were feeling the strain today, so I just piddled a little here, sorted a little there, and decided to start accessorizing my retreat a little.

I bought this old portable Remington typewriter at (you guessed it!) a garage sale for $5.00.  It's in excellent working order and it's fun photo fodder.  I could take LOTS of pictures of this guy.