Saturday, October 30, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 154

1. Pumpkin guts.

2. Pumpkin seeds.

3. Pumpkin carving – I like silly faces best, and my family likes to get out the fancy templates.

4. Halloween crafts and fun.

5. Halloween Haiku

6. Upper Room Devotional - I loved the devotional for October 30th. It hit me just right.

7. How to Beam Someone Up at the Eagle's Aerial Perspective - a very humorous post that made me laugh this morning.

8. I'm AWAKE today.

9. Submitted three poems this morning and keeping my hopes up.

10. The Lord lights up our lives. Without him, we would be dark and hollow, like an uncarved pumpkin with no candle inside.

Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have pictures, but currently the family pumpkin creations are still unfinished - almost two hours into the haunted house pumpkin carving. Whew.

Scripture Blessings:"You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light."
2 Samuel 22:29

Friday, October 29, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 153, Blessed Blog Award, and Sight and Light

The Blessed Blog Award is back! I apologize for having been remiss in my giving. So many blogs are so blessed. Today, I just want to highlight two blogs. Everything Home . . . With Carol is a blog that encompasses writing, homeschooling, and thanksgiving. South Breeze Farm is a blog about homeschooling, and giving thanks! I'm especially thankful for finding the Giving Thanks project started at South Breeze Farm. I feel blessed by both these blogs, and encourage you to check them out too.

For Day 152 of the 365 Days of Blessings, I am especially thankful for light, and for sight:

1. Recently, the power went out in our town, and a friend of mine, who has a great fear of darkness, found herself in a near panic attack. She lit a candle, and prayed. Watching the flame burn strong in the darkness, she felt at peace again, reminded that Jesus is the light of the world.

2. Candles.

3. Lamps.

4. Generators, and the men in my family who know how to use them safely. Someday, I have to learn that skill.

5. Light scattering darkness into patterns of shadows.

6. The burning brightness of the sun glaring on the cover of clouds above us on a cloudy day.

7. Sight.

8. Moonlight.

9. Flashlights.

10. The Lord gives us light, and sight.

Scripture Blessings:
“Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
Jesus stopped and called them, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.
‘Lord, they answered, ‘we want our sight.’
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
Matthew 20:30-34

Thursday, October 28, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 152

1. Turning corners, both literally and figuratively. It's always exciting to see what's just around the bend.

2. That feeling of leaning into a corner, while riding on a bike, or on a motorcycle.

3. Wind rushing in my face.

4. Ironing my husband's clothes means I get to pick out what he wears to important meetings . . . and I happen to think he looks good in red. :-) Yes, I am biased and still madly in love with the guy I married over 14 years ago.

5. My oldest daughter's new reading glasses. They look good on her, and she can read for more than five minutes at a time now without straining, blinking and rubbing her eyes.

6. Eye exercises. Is there any part of our bodies we can't exercise?

7. The worry about NaNoWriMo giving way to tingly excitement. I've been daydreaming, plotting, and note-taking about my characters every day.

8. Writing poetry, and having my youngest daughter help me with word choices. She is very creative and passionate with her words.

9. I woke up happy today, content, excited for all the possibilities. I just think that is a gift from God.

10. God gives us an attitude of gratitude, contentment and joy when we seek Him first.

11. Our Pastor's wonderful sermons, both on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday evenings. We are currently in a study on Joyful Giving, and his illustrations - especially the ones on Wednesday nights - have been rich with meaning, easy to understand, and just plain fun. I've never had another Pastor who has used a construction ladder, a pitcher, ping pong balls and M&M's to illustrate what it means to develop an attitude of contentment, to give joyfully, and to give firstfruits instead of what is left over.

12. Check out the new button on the right - the Giving Thanks Challenge!!! I'm going to participate by just continuing on with my 365 Days of Blessings posts - since they are really about giving thanks anyway. I encourage everyone to participate and name just one thing that you are thankful for every day.

Scripture Blessings:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
But you, man of God (women too), flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were
called when you made your good confession in the presences of many witnesses."
1 Timonthy 6:6-12

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 151

1. 151 Days of Blessings Counted. Wow!

2. Logic puzzles.

3. Pumpkin spice.

4. New Math curriculum that I really like, and my kids are finding ok.

5. Getting a "callback" for a poem that I sent out last week. I've been asked to make some changes, and try again!

6. Getting an e-mail from a poetry site that I like asking me (and all of their regular creative contributors) to submit three winter poems, since they are in need of winter poetry!

7. Hood by Stephen Lawhead. Good read, good history, with only one questionable scene near the end of the book when Bran (Robin Hood) slaps Marian. I really don't like that in any relationship, and so . . . loved the book until those last few pages. Even if Marian is a ninny at that point, slapping is just not ok. If not for that scene, I could have given the book a two thumbs up, 10 out of 10. Now, I'm not sure I'll read the sequel. However, I still am thankful for the rest of the book.

8. Helping my oldest daugther race through her Latin flashcards. 200 words in 3 and half minutes.

9. Fresh apple juice.

10. With God, all things are possible.

Scripture Blessings:Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
Matthew 19:26

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Days 148, 149, and 150

Wow! Three Days . . . I've been counting my blessings in my head, but I've fallen behind on my posts.

1. My husband helping my daughters with their costumes.

2. Costumed birthday parties.

3. A funny modern retelling of the prodigal son parable.

4. Multi-colored knee high socks.

6. Fun shoelaces.

7. Free Dress Week at the Dance Studio.

8. Jasmine, Pink Lady, Punk Rock Dancer, and Water Fairy all in a row on the dance studio couch.

9. Tiny, pumpkin shaped candles.

10. Microwaves . . . I'm glad they were invented.

11. Thermos jugs that keep dinner warm when a microwave isn't an option.

12. Making it through three doctor appointments, three lessons, a long line at a gas station, and many, many red lights . . . we were late a few times, but stayed safe and mostly sane.

13. Overhearing my husband explain one of his favorite on-line games to a six year old boy.

14. That same six year old boy showing us how many push-ups he can do, and proudly wearing his new yellow karate belt all around the dance studio.

15. Have I mentioned that the dance studio families start to seem like blood relations after awhile?

16. Moms and dancers, and uncles, brothers, sisters, and . . . well, you get the idea, especially when new costumes are enthusiastically put on, or even when they aren't . . . just witnessed an extremely talented 10 year old dancer lay down on the couch and say, "oh, mom, now?" Makes me laugh.

17. Sparkles.

18. 25 cents worth of candy.

19. Tiny purses that just hold enough . . . wallet, cell-phone, change, keys, and a few pens and scrap paper.

20. Dancers leaping.

21. Bridges.

22. Cars . . . yes, I’m thankful for them.

23. Lights reflected on water.

24. Warm sweaters.

25. Warmth.

26. Carpooling with family.

27. That feeling that you get when you are almost home . . .

28. Turning into the driveway.

29. The joyous welcome of dogs.

30. God’s welcoming arms, every time we turn to Him in prayer.

Scripture Blessings:

"I will go back to my Father and say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
Luke 15:18-20

Saturday, October 23, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 147

Posted yesterday's today and here's today's blessings:

1. Waking up to the Newsboys singing praises to God on my alarm clock.

2. Rain giving way to blue sky.

3. Saturday morning. I get to walk. I get to write. And then, I get to prepare for Sunday morning and the week ahead.

4. Walking in puddles.

5. Candlelight.

6. Wonderful friends, and big hugs.

7. My husband is a gentle man with a wonderful heart for people.

8. A friend thanked me for having such "kind, sweet girls." Wow. I'm thankful for that too.

9. My old dog, no matter how long it takes her to stand up and sit down, still wants to go for a walk once she is warmed up.

10. The Lord blesses us with life.

Scripture Blessings:
"Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:4-5

Friday, October 22, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 146

Giving thanks for all of these amazing blessings and more:

1. Free Family Move Night!!! It's an event my church hosts, and I get to help out. We have a movie on the big sanctuary screens, free popcorn, free candy and free water, and it's really fun.

2. How to Tame Your Dragon for Free Movie Night! I know the movie isn't like the book, but I like both.

3. Feathers everywhere . . . Halloween costumes are still in progress. My daughters are both making fanciful costumes that involve fantastical fairy tale creatures of their own making . . . half peacock, half butterfly, and half peacock, half leopard. This all started with masks purchased inexpensively at a Shakespeare Festival.

4. New, non-leaking skylights, ceiling paint, and new toilet all installed in the upstairs bathroom!!! Now we are waiting for the cabinet (had to be custom for our odd sized bathroom), countertop and shower "surround". My hubby and I have plans for more towel racks, and I'm just excited to see the pieces all coming together.

5. Wonderful friends who are willing to talk out any miscommunications or differences of opinion. I love forgiveness and forgiving attitudes . . . people who are willing to work with others and move forward.

6. The truth sets us free, and there is freedom in knowing that the truth will come out eventually in a particular situation that I've been bathing in prayer on a daily basis. In tough times, God gives me strength. When faced with lies and slander, I have to pray for guidance, for patience, and for the truth to become clear and evident.

7. Art projects with my mom, and my daughters. I'm not an artist, but I like to relax with paints, stickers, glue and messiness.

8. Cardboard houses, painted, and decorated for Halloween.

9. 210 people at movie night from age 4 weeks to age 93. Laughter in the sanctuary. Big smiles on kids faces.

10. The Lord is our greatest treasure.

Scripture Blessings:"The earth is the Lord's and
everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it."
Psalm 24:1

Thursday, October 21, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 145

Giving Thanks, and Counting up these blessings:

1. Woke up with a poem on my mind, and wrote it down.

2. Revised two older poems.

3. Submitted "april second" poem to Every Day Poets today.

4. I'm glad I have a number of poems seperated into files by month, so I can look for "seasonally appropriate ones" to work on and submit throughout the year. It may be fall now, and I may want to write fall poetry, but I need to submit winter and spring poetry for publication.

5. Every day I feel a little better. I'm "almost" over the flu.

6. My dogs "talk" to me with rumbly groans and huffs of breath. They are ready for the day, and think I should be moving too.

7. Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder, one of the homeschool literature books we are reading with our Civil War unit. I am suprised by how much I am enjoying reading it.

8. Reading The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis out loud to my family at night is bittersweet, because we are almost at the end of the Narnia series and I don't want it to end. I am so thankful I get to read these books with my kids and they like them too.

9. The book of Psalms.

10. The Lord watches over us while we sleep and when we wake.

Scripture Blessings:"The Lord will keep you from all
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming
and going
both now and forevermore."
Psalm 121:7-8

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 144

Wednesday Blessings and Thankfulness:

1. Feeling the "I want to be better" kind of crankiness that I usually associate with almost being well.

2. Cleaning my house just a few minutes at a time. Stomach flu still does not want me on my feet for more than 20 minutes. But hey, I've never liked cleaning house for more than 15 minutes anyway.

3. My kids "got" their math today.

4. Little squashes on my table brighten my day.

5. Glittering painted wooden pumpkin crafts. Glitter glue is fun.

6. Blue paint on the bathroom walls. "We're under the sea!" My oldest daughter exclaimed, and then we all started singing.

7. Tomorrow we will have a toilet upstairs! This might be TMI, but we've been down to one for over a month, and we're ready to have two in the house again.

8. Slow but steady progress on the upstairs bathroom. The laundry room downstairs is done, and a bit of ceiling that needed to be sheetrocked and painted downstairs is done. This old house is looking a little brighter and prettier today.

9. Brooms are lighter than vacuums, and sweeping is doable in 15 minute swoops. I'm so glad that most of our floors are pretend wood and not carpet.

10. Signed up for NaNoWriMo yesterday while feverish, but today I've decided I'm going to make it work. However, I hope it's ok that I'm using NaNoWriMo to kickstart The Crystal Sword again. I got stuck a few weeks ago, battled doubt, fear and frutration, took it back to the outline and character sketch stage again, and I plan to use NaNoWriMo to restart and finish it. I know I'll have to polish it after that, but I would really love to sit down and write it from start to finish with a clear outline in mind and within 30 days. Oh, I hope it works.

11. God's plans are eternal.

Scripture Blessings:
"While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!'
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. 'Get up,' he said. 'Don't be afraid. When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus."
Matthew 16:5-8

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 143

I've been thankful for so many things now that I'm beginning to lose track, but I am still trying to mine the nuances of blessings that surround me for new ideas. Today I'm sick, and although I know I've been thankful for this particular book before, I immediately thought of the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day book this morning. The picture reminds me a bit of how I felt earlier when I first woke up. I actually am having a very good day, despite feeling nauseous, headachey, generally achey and dizzy. I just have to remember to give thanks in all circumstances, and when I do, I see more to be thankful about with each passing moment.

I am thankful for:

1. Warm blankets.

2. Soft sheets.

3. Perfect Pillows.

4. My youngest daughter's Sign Language Dictionary, and learning the word "Tiger" in sign language this morning.

5. My oldest daughter's ability to make breakfast with cheerfulness.

6. The massage therapist who worked on my husband's poor aching back yesterday.

7. A conversation about the best days to sleep in, with my two daugthers. They agreed that they wouldn't want to sleep in on Christmas day because opening their stocking presents and going to Church are too much fun to miss, but sleeping in the day after Christmas is the best day to sleep in all year. I happen to agree with them too.

8. Breath.

9. My mom who took our dogs for a walk, and they are happy now.

10. God's guidance, and wisdom.

11. National Parks.

Scripture Blessings:

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.:

Isaiah 40:28-31

Monday, October 18, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 142

Monday, early morning, waking up, returning to the week's routine, realizing I had lost count of my blessing posts, and fixing that. So now, opening my eyes to the amazing blessings that surround me, these are the ones that I am thankful for today:

1. 500 Blessings in the form of quilts, layettes, health kits, and school kits quilted, sewed, gathered, prayed over, and boxed up to ship to the neediest people.

2. “My Jesus, My Savior” – a song that I love.

3. Packing up the quilts, layettes, health kits, and school kits with a great group of hard-working people. It took us an hour and 15 minutes after church, but we were happy to be a small part of a big project.

4. Ideas for devotions, and ideas for Sunday School pouring through my head. The sermon was inspiring on Sunday!

5. My kids are thankful for bacon and I’m thankful for Turkey Bacon since I can’t eat the real thing.

6. Fasting for half of a day, and feeling great. I think fasting is a huge blessing when it is placed in God’s hands and isn’t about dieting.

7. Sharon, a wonderful woman at our church. She is one of the workers for the Lutefisk dinner, and the one who organizes the packing for the quilts, layettes, health kits, and school kits. She runs a drama ministry, and puts so many hours into serving and worshiping the Lord at our church and in our community that I don’t think anyone can keep track of them all. Even more amazing is that she is humble of heart, and full of joy.

8. Planning a Halloween costume . . . I’m going to be Velma. I have the right sweater, and soon I’ll have the right glasses. I just need to head to the second hand store to look for an orange skirt, or pants. Now, the question is, will my husband consent to dress up as Shaggy or Fred? He thinks he wants to wear a red ascot, if I can find something that will work.

9. “Jinkies” and “Zoinks!” are two of my favorite cartoon expressions, and I think they are far better words for shock, amazement, awe, or even frustration than other words we often hear.

10. God graces us with love, and in joy, we get to love him back.

Scripture Blessings:"We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according the their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the priviledge of sharing in this ministry to the saints." 2 Corinthians 8:1-4a

Sunday, October 17, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Days 140 and 141

Fall Delights

1. Mini pumpkin candle holders made by my daughters.

2. A tiny gourd family.

3. 250 volunteers for a church run Lutefisk dinner.

4. Hundreds of people, driving from miles around to eat strange fish, and raise money for charity with their ticket money.

5. Guests who beamed at their servers and said, "this it the best place to have a Lutefisk dinner."

6. Bussing tables is fun when it's only for one shift.

7. My daughters may never eat pickled herring, but they had fun selling it to other people to raise money for youth group trips.

8. Our whole family volunteered, and it is fun to do that together, even if it's not all on the same shift.

9. Knowing another gluten-free family at the dinner. Their allergies may not be as varied as ours, but they know what it's like to have to stay away from "normal" food.

10. A shared plate of hot potatoes with my daughters on a break.

11. Leaves skittering across the road, and bringing out the puppy in our Beagle. He wants to give chase, but has to wait until he gets back to our yard to do that.

12. The morning sky, blue with pink clouds.

13. Even red cedar trees lose a few of their old leaves which turn orange amongst all the green, and then drop to the ground.

14. Pine needles.

15. Pine cones.

16. Maple leaves, ripening and curling with color.

17. Helicopter seeds.

18. Geese flying south.

19. A few scattered leaves in the driveway . . . I'm looking forward to when they are deep enough to wade through. I know, I'm revealing the fact that we are "au natural" gardeners here. We leave them where they fall, until the rain hits and they become a slightly soggy mass that must be moved, or mowed into mulch.

20. As a friend of mine told me this morning, God gives us new chances each day. Let's make the best of them!

Scripture Blessings:
"The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b,c

Friday, October 15, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 139

Pumpkin Patch Friday

1. Driving to our favorite pumpkin patch, Spooner Farms, under a blue sky.

2. An Alice in Wonderland corn maze, the best Spooner Farms maze we've ever experienced. The mud factor was low, due to sunny skies. The decorations were perfect and playful.

3. Going through the rabbit hole with Alice . . . in a corn maze.

4. The Queen of Heart's Castle was great, the Jabberwocky playtoy was cool, and we enjoyed the Mad Hatter's Tea Party too.

5. Finding all the little punch stations in the maze, and finding them easily.

6. Picking out our pumpkins. Each person gets one that they can carry, especially since Daddy (my husband) threw his back out last weekend. No ginormous pumpkins this year, but we still found some very nice ones.

7. Finding a number of colorful, twisted, and decorative squash.

8. Playing Pumpkin Slingshot, and trying to win a giant pumpkin. The fun is in the launching. Somehow having won one last year satisfied our desire to win even this year.

9. Playing trough water races with plastic duckies and hand pumps . . . I wish I had taken my camera with me, because I'm not sure I can fully describe the fun.

10. The pleasant, orange cheeked pumpkins sitting on our porch, waiting to receive their faces.

11. Returning to volunteer at the Cat Rescue after four months of being away from all those wonderful kitties. Some have been adopted, and some are new. Some are like old friends who serenade us with their symphonic purrs.

12. God provides us with bountiful blessings!

Scripture Blessings:
"They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more." Jeremiah 31:12

Thursday, October 14, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 138

Thursday - Thor's Day? No, still God's day.
In recognition that today has been a bit stormy for some friends of mine and I, but yet, knowing that the day is still God's day, not ours, and not the storm's day. Today I'm giving thanks for:

1. Trees in all their variety.

2. Amazing sunsets . . . probably used this one before, but right now I can see this amazing gold-red ball of light shining through the leaves of our trees, with blue sky streaked with pale peach, pink and purple clouds, and it is breathtakingly beautiful.

3. Breathing in the breath of God with prayer, hope, and trust that each day is his and his alone.

4. In the Narnia books, Aslan's breath always gives the adventurer's strength, courage, confidence and peace.

5. Second day Chili over baked potatoes. MMM, good.

6. Eye doctors.

7. Glasses and contacts.

8. My oldest daughter's attitude about getting reading glasses . . . she posed in front of the mirror with several styles before choosing the ones she liked best.

9. Patience.

10. A friend who is willing to admit that there are some days, like today, when homeschooling is tough for her too. Sometimes, we all have to take a breather for a few hours and then hit the restart button. Thanks for reminding me, dear friend!

11. Joyful Giving.

12. Writing a letter to a sponsored child.

Scripture Blessings:

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Wh do people say the Son of Man is?'
They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'
'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say that I am?'
Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, fo rthis was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.'"
Matthew 16:13-18

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 137

Wednesday - in the middle of it all, and totally random thankfulness for totally random blessings.

1. Verbs.

2. Naturopathic doctors.

3. Homemade Chili with no tomatoes, but lots of spices.

4. Hiking boots.

5. A picture of an ocean shore.

6. Blow-up globes.

7. Store-owners who keep store cats.

8. The store cat who affectionately cuddled me so much that he put a small rip in my old jeans.

9. Picking out counter top material and color, and knowing that the end of the upstairs bathroom project is in sight. It might be a month to get the cabinets, but they will be the last piece of the puzzle upstairs. Then it will be onto the downstairs . . .

10. Gotta love old houses.

11. Fall leaves.

12. God does miracles, big ones, and little ones.

Shared Blessings:
Karen Lange shared with me a few days ago, that finishing a project over the weekend was a blessing to her! Thanks for sharing Karen!!!

Scripture Blessings:
"Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel." Matthew 15:29-31

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Days 135 and 136, Manic Monday and Too Busy Tuesday

Manic Monday

1. Map-building for plotting with my writers' workshop adventure class.

2. Shakespeare live, with students reading through part of Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1 with paper swords for a sword fight.

3. Facilitating for a different writing class, and just listening in on some of the teaching there. I like hearing different methods for writing process. I find it interesting, fun, and fascinating.

4. Having an awesome conversation with another homeschool mom!

5. Having awesome conversations with dance moms.

6. Doing the dance mom walk, 2 miles.

7. Writing character sketches, and character setting sketches. So much fun!

8. Dance fun, and excitement with dance kids happily chatting, playing and dancing together.

9. Ballet class with Damaris, an excellent ballet teacher, and a wonderful friend.

10. Home to watch the last 20 minutes of a movie before bed-time.

11. The scene in The Silver Chair when Prince Rilian is freed from the silver chair.

12. Praising God in all circumstances.

Too Busy Tuesday

1. Letting the girls sleep in a little bit.

2. Seeing neighbor friends on a wonderful 2 mile walk with sunshine overhead.

3. Fruit and toast for breakfast.

4. Talking about our history lessons. We love history.

5. Harriet Tubman.

6. Hatshepsut.

7. Writing dialogue with my daughters.

8. Picking out paint for our bathroom, and countertop colors and materials.

9. Watching the girls pick out paint colors for their room, hoping to combine neon green and blue.

10. Dance, dance, dance again with the dance mom walk coming soon.

11. Prayer.

Scripture Blessings:
"When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed." Matthew 14:34-36

Sunday, October 10, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 134

-written mostly late Saturday night
As usual, I find myself thankful for so many things. This weekend I’ve been focused on organization, and so my list is really all about that. Organization isn’t my gift, but God is helping me out this weekend so I can be ready for each day.

1. Cleaning out toy boxes and finding old treasures.

2. Setting up the TV on a new media center that fits.

3. Rearranging furniture.

4. Folding warm laundry.

5. Grocery shopping, and remembering everything on the list!

6. Having a meal plan for the week.

7. Signing up for a free Writing Workshop at my local library!

8. Reading a new, different writing book from the library.

9. Trying a new approach. Organize my writing from brainstorming to finish? Hmm. It might work.

10. Writing full-bodied character sketches.

11. Sunday, a day of rest and worship!

What about you? Have you noticed any trends in your life lately? Any trends in the blessings that surround you each day?

Feel free to share some of those blessings!

Scripture Blessings:
"Rejoice in the Lord Always. Again, I say, Rejoice!" Phillipians 4:4

Blessed Be The Name of the Lord - wonderful song we sang at worship today

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blessed Blog Award and Double Blessings

It's Blessed Blog Award Time! I wish I could keep to my once a week schedule with these, but they've been a bit more sporadic because it is so hard to choose . . .there are so many awesome blogs that I am thankful for each week.

This time, the Blessed Blog Award goes to Melissa at Through the Looking Glass for inspiring me to write really good characters, and sharing her insightfulness with humor and well-crafted posts! Thanks for being a blessing, Melissa!

Double Blessings, for Days 132 and 133
I'm focusing on three categories of blessings today that I'm thankful for: people, animals(zoo) and random. Is random a category? Well, it suits me.

1. My husband is an everyday hero with a cakeface beard, so heroes can have beards.

2. My daughter Anna's quirky humor and big smile.

3. My daughter Trisha's everyday singing. We actually burst into song in our household randomly, and I love to hear her sing. Yesterday, her song was "I have a bed, I love my bed . . . and I don't remember all the words, but it was a fun, silly, night-time song.

4. My mom's ability to draw people into conversation.

5. My dad's smile at the zoo yesterday . . . he's still a kid at heart.

6. The zookeeper yesterday who gave the Asia talk about the tigers. Very knowledgeable, funny, and passionate about his work.

7. The Grandad, with his two grandkids at the zoo, who stopped to tell us about his experience seeing a Kiwi in the wild, when he was younger.

8. The zoo volunteer yesterday who has dedicated his retirement to volunteering with the Red Wolves. He has supported the Red Wolf program since it started in the 70's.

9. Tiger cubs cuddling with momma tigress.

10. Papa tiger's bond with the zoo keeper. He watched his every move with devotion, and it wasn't a hungry devotion, but a devotion that I've only seen in dogs or cats for their human friends. (Backstory: Zookeeper has worked with the tiger for a while, and the tiger has cancer.)

11. Clouded leopard cubs sleeping on the thin limbs of their tree house.

12. Seeing the "poster child" for red wolves - a male wolf that has been photographed many, many times for the benefit of his species. Red Wolves were declared extinct in the wild in the 70's, and Pt. Defiance Zoo started a breeding and release program. Today, around 200 red wolves live in captivity, and around 100 have been successfully released into the wild.

13. Frogs.

14. Pygmy owls.

15. Turtles.

16. The thrumming purr of my cat, as she sits just out of reach from where I sit.

17. Chipmunks, scurrying about their fall business.

18. Baked potatoes.

19. The highway exit sign for Ikea, labeling it as a tourist destination. It makes me laugh every time.

20. God's infinite creativity.

Scripture Blessings:
"And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures and let bird fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.' So God created the great creaturss of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kidns and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:20-21

Thursday, October 7, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 131

More blessings, a few more amazing blog posts, and just some random thankfulness!

1. God is awesome and He has a plan for each of us, for me, for my friends, for my enemies, for people I don't even know. I am so thankful that I don't have that job. God is in charge, and I'm not.

2. My husband is the best man for me . . . wonderful, funny, huggable, sweet, fun, the list could go on for the whole page. I love him more than words can say, and I am so thankful for our relationship!

3. My daughters are sweet, compassionate, helpful, loving, amazing girls. They each have unique talents, and I love them both completely exactly as they are.

4. Spiders. Yes, I'm thankful for them, when they are on their webs, outside.

5. Yummy, homemade caramel without corn syrup or dairy.

6. Laurel's Leaves Post on Nicknames This is a delightful post about nicknames, how they affect us, and how they affect our characters.

7. Listening This is a wonderful, inspirational blog, and this post on "A Few of My Favorite Things" resonated with me.

8. Mara Writes In this post, Mara give us a well-written sample of her fantasy writing, and for me, it gave me a jumpstart to my own imagination.

9. Eagle's Aeriel Perspective The Eagle give us a well-written book review on a book that reminds me a bit of Oliver Twist, set in a sci-fi dystopian setting. I'm going to check it out at my local library.

10. Sharp Pen Dull Sword Posts with pictures that speak 1,000 words, and in this post I love #1 and #2 especially.

Well, as I stated above, there were some pretty random ones today . . . but I keep trying to look for blessings in all places, and all moments.

Scripture Blessings:
"When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked. 'Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?' And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, 'Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith."
Matthew 13:53-58

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 130

Blessings come in many forms and from many places. They are moments in time, people, places, objects, and just stuff that I am thankful for. Today my focus is blogs, websites and posts that have inspired my writing. Please note, that if your blog isn't mentioned, it is a foolish oversight on my part. I will have to do more than one post on these to name them all.

1. Odyssey Post at Silver Lining - my favorite post by Julie at Silver Lining on the process of writing. It's so awesome, I come back to read it again and again.

2. Through the Looking Glass post on Snape as a Compelling Character - Melissa dives into explaining why she finds Snape to be a compelling character, and in doing so, gives us a great look at the craft of writing characters.

3. a post from Book Dreaming Shannon has great quotes, thought-provoking questions, and this is just one of many that inspire me to be a better writer.

4. Write Worship Tamika is the queen of beautiful writing metaphors. When she writes about writing, she wraps it up and puts a bow on it, in addition to inspiring me to write as an act of worship.

5. Chips and Meaning Donald Mass gets into meaningful characters, and inspires us all to dig a little deeper to give our characters flaws that they might not be able to solve or change . . . interesting.

6. Nevets QST Nevets takes the time to think about the affect of our words on the world around us.

7. Write Now Karen Lange inspires me with great writing tips, and resources.

8. Notes from the Writing Chair Angie shares her writing journey from her heart, and I appreciate the honesty of her posts, and the joy that she finds in writing.

9. Jill Kemerer Jill inspires me to live a full life, and stick to my goals. Some of my favorite posts by her are her One Goal Friday posts.

10. Bible Gateway is a great resource for scripture on the web with lots of translations to choose from.

Bonus Blessings:
These two places published poems of mine in the month, so they are very near and dear to my heart at this moment.
Moon Drenched Fables published Embers in their fall issue.
Every Day Poets published My Mother's Compost last month.

Scripture Blessings:
"He said to them, 'Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.'" Matthew 13:52

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, day 129

a moment came today when I was tempted to complain . . . actually it was longer than a moment, so I sat down and wrote out my blessings on the white board I use for homeschooling . . . and now finally here they are now:

1. My daughters' working on their costume making skills.

2. Bling - adhesive jewelry to add to any cloth.

3. The two paths writing exercise: if your character faced two paths, which one would he/she take? the one less traveled by? the wider, faster one? the straightest, the narrowest, the bounciest, and why?

4. Writing a scene based on the two paths exercise . . . my character chose to take the straightest, toughest ascent up a mountain path, and discovered that the way that looks the fastest may actually be the slowest.

5. My husband's skills at electrical work. He may be a supervising electrical engineer, but he spent several years working as an electrician, so he is rewiring our upstairs bathroom for better lighting.

6. Enthusiasm for the new company dance routine! My daughter's keep practicing at home without any direction from me.

7. Having a schedule for dance competitions and performances . . .now I can plan out some other stuff too.

8. Warm, autumn days.

9. The wonderful support and encouragement I've received from friends, and family, for my latest poem publication. Thanks everyone! If you haven't read it yet and are curious, just click
here Embers to see it.

10. Jesus gives us truth in story form . . .I love his parables.

Scripture Blessings:

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew 13:44

Monday, October 4, 2010

Brag Blessing - Poem Published!

"embers" is published at Moon Drenched Fables, a secular fantasy fiction and poetry site. Check it out here: embers

Just click on the link, and then click on the poem named "embers" on their poetry page.

Thanks for sharing my joy and thankfulness for poetry!

365 Days of Blessings, Day 128

a few more favorite things . . .

1. Homemade pizza.

2. Coca-cola Zero, with cherry flavoring.

3. My comfy chair, that the cat thinks is her chair.

4. Journals . . .

5. Paper, any kind.

6. Student writing.

7. Laughter. (I know I've used that one before, but it's so good it's worth many mentions)

8. Family . . . all of them.

9. Warm sweaters on fall days.

10. The cross.

Scripture Blessings:
"He told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amountof flour until it worked all through the dough.'" Matthew 13:33

Sunday, October 3, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Days 126 and 127

365 Days of Blessings, Days 126 and 127
a few of my favorite things . . .

1. Bookshelves overloaded with books.

2. Writing paper.

3. Notebooks.

4. Pens.

5. Daydreams about characters.

6. Treasure maps.

7. Plots that thicken.

8. Cameras.

9. Tea.

10. Trees.

11. Blogs.

12. Mary Englebreit art.

13. Magnets on the fridge from many places.

14. Old jars.

15. Light.

16. Colorful aprons . . . even if I never wear them.

17. Collections of shells, rocks, coins . .

18. Recycling.

19. Bananas.

20. Shoes . . . especially fun ones without heels or spiky toes.

21. God's amazing love for us.

Scripture Blessings:
"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you can do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NRSV)

Friday, October 1, 2010

365 Days of Blessings, Day 125

365 Days of Blessings, 125
Random Thankfulness

1. God gives us eyes to see.

2. The blind cat I know, is always determined to be in constant contact with the people she likes. If she hears you, she reaches out her paw, jumps into your arms expecting you to hold her, and burrows her head under your chin.

3. I've heard that scientists have proven that we dream in black and white, and yet I know my dreams are in colors brighter than the ones I normally see.

4. My youngest went to a pickle party - a pickle birthday party, and came home with a jar of yummy treats to be served up on Thanksgiving!

5. My oldest went to a movie with a friend, and her friend's mom.

6. Water is on for the weekend . . . plumbing mainly is done, except the washer and dryer aren't hooked up yet and the upstairs bath is still in progress. Still, one functioning bathroom is better than none.

6. I made pizza, cupcakes, did a little homeschooling, had a meeting with the Pastor of our church to choose stewardship curriculum for Sunday School, dropped both of my kids off for special events, went to a bookstore and only bought a pen, a postcard and a cup of tea after perusing bookshelves for a half hour, oh and went to the store, brought all of our homeschool stuff back home from my parents' house, played super Mario Kart with my kids and lost repeatedly, and somewhere in there had time to write a bit, do a little plotting, and now finish this post.

7. Husband played softball, and that always makes him happy.

8. We have plans to get a new cell-phone soon, very soon.

9. Hershey kisses.

10. Nerf guns . . . they aren't just for the kids.

Scripture Blessings:

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8

Currently Reading: The Cry of the Icemark, The Red Pyramid, A Writer's Book of Days, The Bible, and Amazing Grace, along with assorted homeschool books . . . too many to name.