Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Headin' South...

Tomorrow we fly south for a much anticipated trip to Nashville and Alabama. Everyone is going...our family and Little Mama's family. The first leg of our trip we will be in Nashville attending the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) conference. This conference is for people who love ALL things bluegrass! It is non-stop music the entire time....and lots of opportunities for our guys to "jam". We are thrilled that two of our favorite bands...The Isaacs and Cherryholmes will be performing.

Then...we are off to Alabama! We will be staying with my mom and she will get to see her great-grandbaby for the first time.

We love Alabama! We love to visit with our family and friends (*waves to Mitzi*). We love the food...BBQ, catfish, hushpuppies, Blue Belle ice cream and of course....Sun Drop soda and sweet tea. And the people! They are the nicest you'll ever meet. We will also be attending the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention and Fiddleboy is thinking about entering the fiddle contest. He hasn't made up his mind yet, but he and Little Mama's Marine have been practicing. : )

I'll be checking in while we are away and will try to post pictures as I am able. Until then....

Blessings to ya'll!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Fall!

Today is the first day of autumn...yeah! I *love* fall. It's my favorite time of year. A few weeks ago I wrote here, how it did not feel anywhere close to being fall in my neck-of-the-woods. Well...it does now...and I am excited! : )

So, today I will get the ingredients together and make our traditional "First-Day-of-Fall" meal....chili and cornbread. Fiddleboy and I will have some for dinner tonight, but we'll save the rest for tomorrow's Sunday meal, when My Fireman and Little Mama's family will be home. I'm also feeling a little ambitious this morning, so I might even bake an apple pie. We'll see. I'll let ya' know!

Have a blessed day everyone!! Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fried Pickles

Yep, fried pickles! Have you ever had them? Oh my...they are *delicious*!!

On Tuesday night we had our bi-monthly "Moms Night Out" for our homeschool group. The ladies and I headed over to Applebee's for dinner and I convinced my very-hesitant-but-willing-to-try-anything fellow homeschooling moms to eat fried pickles.

At first they were very skeptical as to whether fried pickles would really be as tasty as I had made them out to be. Oh, but once they tasted one of those crisp, tangy little delights...they were just as hooked as I knew they would be!! : )

My friends Yvette and Lanette (hey, a rhyme!LOL) were such good sports and helped me finish off the plate of fried pickles in a matter of minutes. They were *so* yummy!

There were only three of us at our "Moms Night Out", but we laughed enough for ten people!

We had a great time, to be sure...and these ladies hold a special place in my heart, not only because they are sisters-in-the-Lord and fellow homeschooling moms, but because we can laugh together, cry together, pray together....AND eat fried pickles together. ; )

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy Anniversary...

To my love...my best friend...my husband. It's been a wonderful 21 years. May the Lord gives us many more years to grow together in Him...and in love. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Being A Firefighter's Wife

It's fire season here in California, which means my hubby is a busy guy. On Sunday afternoon he got called into work because of a brush fire. He's still at work today (supposed to be his day off) and we won't see him again until Wednesday. He'll go back to work Thursday and we'll see him again when we meet up at church Sunday morning.

A friend asked me if it's hard or upsetting when my husband gets called into work unexpectedly. She asked me how I cope with the fact that suddenly we are faced with a complete change of plans. She then told me she couldn't imagine living with a schedule like ours...having a husband whose job calls him away from home, sometimes for days at a time, the ever-changing schedule, working holidays, ect... I told her I totally understand! lol While I am so very thankful for my husbands job (and the fact that he loves it), his crazy schedule often drives me, well...CRAZY!

But you know...the thing that really gets me through the long absences--besides the Lord's grace and His constant protection over us--is my husband's wonderful attitude. He loves his job, but he loves his family more...and it's never easy for him to be away from us. When he gets the call from work and has to drop everything to come in, he just does it. He never complains. He just accepts it as what the Lord has for him. I can tell as he races around getting his gear together, he is also thinking about what he's leaving behind...the unfinished chores he wanted to do, the time he was going to spend with Fiddleboy, the church service he really wanted to attend or the conversation we were going to finish later. There is always something.

I confess there are times when I don't have that same wonderful attitude as my husband. But then the Lord reminds me, He has called me to be MY Fireman's wife...crazy schedule and all. : ) I need to be supportive and not make it harder on my husband. I need to be a blessing to him.

So tonight as I spend another evening without my hubby home...I am missing him and I am praying for him. But I am also thanking God for him and his example of accepting whatever the Lord has for him, without complaint. I am a blessed woman, indeed! : )

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sickness and Prayers...

Over the past two weeks, a nasty cold virus has made its way around our house. We've all had it...but now Little Mama has it, and she has it bad. Today as the rest of us went to church services in the morning and evening, she stayed here at our house to rest. We all tried to help with the Little Man, but when you are a nursing mama...there is only so much others can do. She was such a trooper though...trying so hard to care for Little Man, while feeling just awful herself. So if you would, please say a prayer for my Little Mama...that the Lord would allow this cold to pass quickly and strengthen her enough to care for Little Man. Thank you!!

Spinach Woes...

I am so sad about the whole E.coli scare and fresh spinach. The news is saying we shouldn't eat fresh spinach until further notice. One of my *very* favorite things to eat for lunch is spinach salad. I eat it with a sliced hard boiled egg, red onion, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, crumbled feta cheese and top it with a raspberry-walnut vinaigrette. Now I have to figure out something else to eat for lunch. : (

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First Day of School~Part 2

Here are a few more pictures from our first-day-of-school outing....

Grandpa Dule (yep, that's what he's called...it's a LONG story! lol) and Little Man at the mexican restaurant.

The Little Man...looking soooo cute!!

Our favorite part of the day...eating ice cream!

Fiddleboy and his mom...I can't believe he's a sophomore in high school!!

Little Mama and Fiddleboy...best friends for life!!

First Day of School

Monday was our first day of school. Fiddleboy is entering the 10th grade...amazing how the years just fly by. It seems like yesterday he was just starting school. : )

Every year since the beginning of our homeschooling experience we have done the same thing to commemorate the first day of school: My Fireman makes chocolate chip cookies with the kids. Some years later we started going up to our local mountains (Big Bear) after the cookies were baked and new school books were looked at...and spending the rest of our "first day" hiking around the lake or looking through the quaint little shops in town. We always eat at the same mexican restaurant and end the day with a stop by the ice cream parlor. When we started these traditions, we never realized how important they would become to our children. (You can read Little Mama's thoughts about them here.)

It's been two years since Little Mama got married, but she still joins us for the first day of school activities. This year we were joined by our precious Little Man, which made for extra special memories. I have posted some pictures below of our day.

Dad overseeing the precise measurement of the ingredients. : )

Little Mama making sure Fiddleboy is doing it "just right". Some things never change!

Fiddleboy doing the least favorite job...stirring all the ingredients.

Dad taking over the most important job...making sure the chocolate chips are stirred just right.

Yummm....the finished product!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

I remember only too well what I was doing on September 11, 2001, when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Only three weeks before, my Fireman's brother had died suddenly...leaving a wife and 3 children. On the morning of September 11th, I was home, caring for a dear friend's 6 children (plus my 2), as she was in the hospital facing a very serious illness. When I heard what had a happened at the World Trade Center, I honestly felt like the world was coming to an end. I remember asking the Lord..."What next?" It was an awful, terrible feeling.

I remember being so grieved by the images I saw on t.v. The loss, the devastation...was more than I could bear. If it was like this for me...oh how much more for those with loved ones in the buildings or on the planes. Of course with my hubby being a firefighter, my thoughts turned toward those brave rescue workers and to their families. So much...too much.

As we watched the news throughout the day, we also took time to pray. There was peace in knowing that during the unrest and turmoil going on around us...God was in control. None of this took Him by surprise. We could put our trust in Him. There was hope too. Hope that only comes from resting in the Lord and the truths found in His word. It seemed that everything around us was falling apart...instead of focusing on what we didn't understand, we focused on what we knew to be true.

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is]my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

May we never forget the events of September 11, 2001. But may we also never forget the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Last Night

I just love spur-of-the-moment happenings...and last night was one of those special times the Lord gives when you least expect it.

Last night was the monthly deacons meeting for our church. Little Mama and I had talked on Thursday and decided it would be fun if she came out to our house with the Little Man, while her Marine and my Fireman were at the meeting (obviously they are deacons : ) ). We had planned on just hanging out and watching a movie. Well... yesterday my good friend Mrs. Maldie called and asked what we were doing during the deacons meeting (obviously that means her hubby is a deacon too! lol). I told her we were just going to be hangin' out and to come on over. The more, the merrier in my book.

So we enjoyed a (quick) dinner of yummy pizza and spinach salad before the guys left for their meeting. The kids broke out their instruments and were having a great time playing music together. Little Man was happily playing on the floor listening to the music, while the moms were chatting. Then...my sis-in-love calls and says she has to go into town to return some movies...and wants to know if she can stop by for a visit. Of course I told her yes, because NOW we were having a party!!!

When the guys came back from their meeting, we (all 14 of us!) had brownies (healthy ones...really!) and ice cream for dessert. We never watched the movie, but that's ok. It was a wonderful, blessed time.

After everyone left and I was picking up around the house...I reflected on the evening and thanked the Lord for each one He brought to our home that night. I thought about the laughter, the music and the conversations that took place...between family and dear friends. What a gift! I thanked the Lord too, for His timing. If it had been "planned", I am sure I would have fretted over dinner, the dirty windows or a number of other things. Because it just "happened", there was no time for fretting and I just enjoyed the evening. Thank You, Lord!

Have a great Saturday!! : )

image by allposters.com

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Did I Lose My Brain?

I think I did! Or at least Little Mama took half of it with her when she left home and got married. : )

You would *think* after all these years of homeschooling, that I just might have it somewhat together. Nope, not even close. I cannot believe what I did. For the first time in 14 years, I actually forgot to order our curriculum for the upcoming school year. Somehow, I *thought* I'd already ordered it. I am not exactly sure *what* happened.

You see, I usually order it when we attend our annual homeschooling convention (saves on shipping). That was back in July and seems like forever-ago...I can't even remember why I didn't order it. Or why didn't I at least notice I didn't order it? It's just crazy.

Anyway, Little Mama was at the convention with us, so I asked her exactly *what* was I doing at the convention, since I obviously wasn't ordering the curriculum. : /

"Ummm, you were walking around going to the different booths. You talked a lot to your friend Cathy and you went to workshops. Ya' know...I'm not really sure *what* you were doing!"

Great. I guess it really doesn't matter now, because the fact is, it didn't get ordered and now I have to pay a bajillion dollars in shipping just to get it here by next week when we start school. And all that planning I love to do before the upcoming school year...it's not happening this year! On the bright side, Fiddleboy has used this curriculum for the past 4 years, so it won't be too difficult to pull it all together.

So...this *is* the reality of my life! There are times when I feel like I have literally lost my brain! You are probably wondering how on earth do I homeschool my kids? It's a miracle (in more ways than one!). So, let this be a lesson to all of my fellow homeschoolers...you can homeschool even if you have no brain! LOL

On a more serious note though...The key to a successful school year is relying on the Lord and His grace. Trusting in the One who *is* wisdom and knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our curriculum or our planning. Those things are obviously needed, but they are the just the tools. Jesus alone, is the power source for those tools.

May you have a blessed school year!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Psalm 121

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

Thanking the Lord today...for His


Monday, September 4, 2006

Sad News...

One of Fiddleboy's boyhood heroes died today. Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Hunter" died in a freak accident. You can read about it here.

When Fiddleboy was little, he went through a time when he *was* the Croc Hunter. He lived and breathed everything Steve Irwin. He would dress up in his little khaki shirt and shorts and wrestle his plastic crocodiles and snakes to the ground. We didn't have cable t.v. back then, so we had to go to Grammie's down the street, to watch the show. We even *had* to watch the special episode when Steve's daughter, Bindi Sue, was born. Fiddleboy even emailed Steve once to ask about a snake and he personally emailed Fiddleboy back. So, as you can imagine, this is a sad day for Fiddleboy.

What a tragedy. : (

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Only 21 More Days...

Until fall!! Whoo-hoo!!

During the past few days, I have read on more than a few blogs where the author is saying it's starting to feel *slightly* like autumn in their neck of the woods. They can feel a *hint* of it in the air. Well, not in my neck of the woods...not even close! This morning when I (and Little Mama) headed to the farmers market, it was 96 degrees and it was only 9:30am!!

My favorite season is autumn. I love it. When September hits, I start counting the days until the first day of fall (Sept. 23). We even celebrate the day with chili and cornbread. : ) Sometime in the beginning of the season, we make a trip to our local mountains so we can actually *see* the leaves on trees turning color and experience the cooler weather that is supposed to accompany fall. (In September it's still pretty warm here in the desert.) We like to stop in our favorite little store so my Fireman can pick up a few Yankee Candles in his favorite fall scents. (Yep, he's the candle lover in our house!)

I love to decorate my home for fall. This is something I picked up from my mother-in-law. She *always* decorated her home for every season or holiday. When my Fireman and I were first married, she gave us some decorations to get started and through the years we have added to the collection. Nothing elaborate or expensive...just little things that *say* fall. I know it means a lot to my family too...it reminds my Fireman of his beloved mom (who has since gone on to be with Jesus) and Little Mama now does the same thing in her home. : )

(On a little side-note...while I love to decorate my home, it will be a challenge this year, as it was last year. We are in the middle of a remodel that is taking MUCH longer than it should, because of major problems with our contractor. But that's a whole 'nother post!)

So what about you? Do you have a favorite season? Do you do anything special to celebrate it?