Saturday, August 19, 2017

That Smells Really Good!

For the past couple of years, I have been playing around with essential oils. I don't know that I will ever get as involved or as enamored with them as some of my friends.  However, there really is something to how they work.  Today, I cleaned our mattress with lavender oil and baking soda. I can't tell you how good it smells. I have done this before using lavender and peppermint--the peppermint was supposed to keep away any little critters that like to invade that space (dust mites, etc). I recently discovered how much I like the scent of the mandarin orange. It is not a orange cream-sicle flavor like some orange scents.  It is also a little sweeter than an orange essential oil  Like lemongrass oil, there is something about it that makes you feel better.  
This company, Eden's Garden, has been a blessing to our family. If your are interested in trying essential oils, give them a look-see.  (this recommendation is from my heart, and I am not a paid endorser). Shipping is free in the US. 

Today has not only smelled good, but it felt good--good to be home and working around the house. School has been so demanding lately that the housework fell apart.  Today, I cleaned out the fridge and did lots of laundry. I will have Monday off from school (the eclipse!) so I can get caught up on school work then. 
The best things in life are often right here at home. 
Hope your weekend is a wonderful one!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to School

Yesterday was a good "First Day of School." Our classes typically start on Wednesday, so yesterday felt like MONDAY all day.   Virginia was very excited about starting all of her  music classes as an official student within the music division (as opposed to a dual-enrollment student), and she has a Bible Survey course with one of our family's favorite professors. James Martin is hanging in there with his job--he feels strange not being back in school, but maybe that feeling will make library school even more appreciated once he starts.  John Thomas is enjoying getting back into the swing of things.  He will have Hebrew all this year. I would love to take that with him, but I am not sure my tired old brain could handle it. 
Many of the local school systems are suspending classes on the eclipse day (which happens to be M's birthday!).  TMU has given us the option of doing so, but I think we will meet. since my classes are in the morning.  Apparently, our part of the world here is a particularly good spot to watch it in the early afternoon.

I am still working on getting the office in good shape.  No, the picture above is NOT my office, but wouldn't that be great?  I had a little time to sit down and work on class writing yesterday, but I need more.  With my rearrangement of shelves, I have all the books I need for my classes this term within literally an arm's reach!  I had no idea what they would do to help until I actually sat there yesterday.
I may try to post some pictures once it is all finished.  This is not a redecorating project--just a rearranging (and book-thinning) project. 
Today is our food distribution day at Church.  It is also our 26th wedding anniversary. 
Tomorrow night, all of our little chicks will actually be off from work, and even more miraculously-they don't have plans or obligations. SO . . . .
we might get to all go celebrate with a nice dinner together.  
Sunday is our quarterly "3rd Sunday sing." Brother Travis suggested we eat lunch at Church after the morning service before the singing, and he has pledged a gallon of Brunswick stew.  That is just fine with me!!
Busy week, but a happy one. 
Hope your week is going well.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Getting Ready for School

Getting ready for school again . . . there has been quite a flurry of activity lately with the kids and their social calendars:  weddings, work, friends visiting . . .  all good stuff. This week at the University is our week of meetings. Next week, more meetings and then classes begin on Wednesday. I wish I had spent more time reading this summer. 
 On another note, it is time to break out my well-worn copy of Anne of Avonlea.  I like to read this book before the school year begins. Like Anne, I am a little anxious about a new teaching assignment. All my years of teaching hasn't done much to help me with back-to-school butterflies. 

She had sat up until nearly twelve the preceding night composing a speech she meant to make to her pupils upon opening the school.  She had revised and improved it painstakingly, and then she had learned it off by heart.  It was a very good speech and had some very fine ideas in it, especially about mutual help and earnest striving after knowledge. The only trouble was that she could not now remember a word of it . . . .

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What a Great Weekend

This has been such a great weekend--we had a wonderful visit from a young man who has been a friend to all of the kids for 4 years.  Everyone had something special and fun to do with friends Friday and Saturday. Last night with everyone back home, we all watched an episode of  Father Brown together, enjoying our favorite meal of "petros." 
Josh went to church with us this morning; his father pastors a church very similar to our's.  Everyone was tickled to have him.  Today was communion Sunday, and it was a blessing for all of us.
Tonight being a 5th Sunday, we had something different in the evening service:  we all went out to the fellowship hall and watched  Joni . The story is a wonderful today as it was when it was first released in 1979.  We watched the whole thing in one sitting (complete with popcorn, cookies and cokes).  We got home a little bit later, but that was just fine. We had BLT's for a late supper and watched The Andy Griffith Show.

I can't think of a more relaxing way to end one week and prepare for the next. 
Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Busy Week At the Ponderosa

What a week here at home!  The week has been a pretty good one, but so busy.  The start-up activities getting ready for the new school year have begun. The kids have been put on some tough work schedules--Dear Daughter and Dear Son 1 have had their share of 11-hour shifts. Dear Son 2 is enjoying things at the donut shop, but it has had its own challenges. They had a day when friends and family could come in to get whatever they want, and we certainly enjoyed that. We were able to talk to his boss, and he seems to really like JM.  JM is so tall and big-built that he is able to help with a lot of the moving work.  I think that has been a blessing.   Virginia got her learner's permit, and on the same day,  took the ACT for official admission into the university (as opposed to the dual-enrollment status she has had the last two years).  She is still working hard on the skirts for the wedding. Two of the three are almost done.

A happy spot this week has been the arrival of a couple of the boys' friends to visit for the weekend.  One has been staying with us, and it has been a lot of fun.  The other night, they all went to the Chicken House together, and Virginia took this picture.  This has been great. Our visitor, Josh, has been a friend to all our kids for 4 years.  Nathan has been friends with them for even longer.

Today, everyone was scattered in their own directions, and M and I sat and watched westerns most of the afternoon.  We watched Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, and The Virginian. I made a little progress on the pink and cream afghan. Having done a lot of housework getting ready for Josh, I didn't have as much to do. That was really nice. I am going to make a pot of chilli

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Crayola Crisis at our Home

I have to share this story about what happened at our house the other night.  The boys and I drug out the coloring books, paper, pencils and crayons and turned on Audible to Ivanhoe.  Virginia was trying to work on her skirts. Dad came in and joined us, and proudly brought his own box of crayons that he had just bought at Wal-Mart (this is the time of year that the 24-pack is on sale for 50 cents, and we feel obligated to purchase at least one box). I was initially surprised that he did this--usually he does the crossword puzzle in the latest issue of his beloved Sword of the Lord. We are coloring along, pretty as you please, and Michael hands me his box of crayons and says, "smell these."  The wonderfully familiar Crayola scent was not there! In fact, they smelled pretty bad. We came up with all kinds of explanations--and all four of us are smelling our older crayons and these crayons . . . it was a sight to see! Had Crayola changed the formula? 
We went back to Wally World the next day to get something and hubby went over to the crayons to see if all of the new batch smelled this way--It might just be the end of an era!
Well, it was so funny to see us smelling those crayons.  We were low key, but I am sure someone noticed. Anyway, to our relief, the other boxes smelled normal. Civilization can continue as before.
He figures there must have been something wrong with that box, and it wasn't a harbinger of doom of things to come in crayola production!

We have a big box where we keep our smaller boxes of crayons and all of the supplies we use. There are quite a few "orphans" floating around in the big box--crayons without a home. I remember that I always liked keeping my crayons in a cigar box like this one-

My maternal grandfather would take me down to the "news stand" and buy me a book. The wonderful gentleman who ran the business would always keep the cigar boxes for kids who wanted them for crayons. I must have had a dozen.
We try to tell the kids, and I think they understand better now that they are young adults, that the simplest pleasures are the best and make the best memories. 

Here is a picture from one of our parties some time ago . . .