Friday, December 24, 2010

The Wonderful Thing About Diggers

The wonderful thing about Diggers,
Is Diggers are wonderful things!

They like to play with legos,
And with Wii guitars that have no strings.

They're Beatle-y, Peanut-y, C.S Lewis-y,
Fun, fun, fun, fun, Fun!

The wonderful thing about Diggers-
Is that he's the only one!

Happy Birthday Digger!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Recently, I have seen a few things posted here and there about the recent Garth Brooks concert in Nashville.  Alas, I didn't go but hearing about it did take me back to days long ago.  One sweet friend told me she was going and she got to hear first hand about my experience, poor thing.  It was also then that I realized how young she was. 

Back to the story- Do you remember a long (long) time ago when Garth was, you know, like Entertainer of the Year or something like that, winning every award in the music industry?  That is the time I am talking about.  Well, one year Garth decided to come to the great place of Starkville, MS, to the Hump (the colliseum) for a concert.  Oooh, my friend and I were so excited.  Really pumped.  Beside ourselves.  We were the crazies who drove up and down Hwy 12, with the windows rolled down, singing, "I've Got Friends in Low Places"  at the top of our lungs, almost in tears listening to "The Dance".  This was a must-see event.

The problem was tickets.  The way tickets were going to be sold was through a lottery.  I think they were trying to avoid mass injury with the crowds.  This meant whoever wanted a ticket had to go put their name down and sit in the baseball stadium until their name was called, receive whatever as proof and then you could go purchase your allotted 4 tickets.  I can't remember all of the details, but for whatever reasons neither Susan nor I could pull that off.  It was one of two reasons.  Either we were so devoted to our studies that we didn't dare miss class or we were so sure we would be able to bum tickets off of someone else, that we just skipped the whole thing.  Praying the whole time.

Well, it just so happened that a particular friend of ours went to the lottery to get tickets for himself, 3 extra. Lo and behold, this person got a great lottery number.  He got his 4 tickets. This person's name just happened to be David Pritchard.  This was before we were dating and the assumption that if he got two tickets I would get to be the lucky guest.  So, Susan and I resorted to the ultimate strategy.

We begged.  We groveled.  We got two tickets.  Then we shopped for cowboy boots.  Seriously. 

This is where the story gets even better.  These 4 tickets weren't together.  Two of the them were in the nosebleed section to the right of the stage.  Two of the tickets.  On the floor.  Something like the 20th row.  Whoa, dude.  No way!!

So, how was this delimma going to be worked out.  Of course, this was a serious decision.  According to me and my dear friend, both females.  Not so much of a serious decision, but an effortless one for my dear friend, David, a male.  Of course, he and his buddy would take....the floor seats.  Susan and I...the nosebleed.  After all, there really wasn't any other way, and he was the one who sacrificed his day to sit for the lottery.  Hmmm......

The day of the concert came.  Susan and I, decked out in our country duds, cowboy boots and all, were picked up by our friends (although maybe at this point Susan and David's friend may have been seeing each other) and we all rode to the colliseum together. 

Where we appropriately, split up and went our separate ways.  David and his buddy to enjoy up close and personal.  Susan and I to share our buddies hunting binoculars.  Yes, we really did. 

To sum it up...we had an absolute blast!!  It was one of the greatest concerts!  Garth - more than an performer, but a true entertainer.  We even had fun trying to spot David and his friend. 

The rest is history, I guess you could say.  Of course, we went out somewhere afterward,(thinking Shoneys for breakfast bar) for the guys to eat and for the girls to give the guys a hard time.  It was months before David and I actually started dating.  (It took a long time for me to get over the ticket thing- Ha, ha, just kidding)  It actually was a great event in our early days as friends. 

Garth.  Mississippi State.  Cowboy boots (which actually got alot of wear).  A friend who brought himself out of "low places" on the 20th row (hee, hee) to marry me! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Impact of Impact

A few years ago, David had the privilege to become a deacon at church.  At our church, when this happens you are assigned a specific area, or ministry, of the church in which to assist during your term.   Along with other deacon duties, David was assigned to the junior high ministry, Impact. 

Part way into his first year, David came to me and said, you know, if I am supposed to be assisting in this ministry, shouldn't I be more involved in it?   Get a taste for it, understand it's goals, needs, etc.   We prayed about it and David began working with this group of kids and our jr high pastor.  More like, jumped in.  Feet first.

I must first explain David and his personality.  Something that comes as surprise to many is that David is an introvert.  (I mean, should it really surprise you?  He enjoys sitting, by himself, in a deer stand.  All day)  Also, as much as he loves our kids,  interacting with kids isn't his greatest strength.  Or so we thought at the time.

Back to Impact....So, David tells Andrew that he wants to get more involved.  Be a right hand kinda guy.  Be on call to help as needed, saying yes as much as he could.  Hee, hee.  Yeah, that first call came just days later.  "Ummm, can you go with us on a week long work trip, camping the whole time?"  "Sure"  David (and Jake who got to tag along) headed off on their first Impact trip ever.  Thus a bond was made.

Through the course of the last few years, God has shown us so many things about ourselves, that we just didn't know.  For starters, David has an uncanny way with these kids, that made them love him.  Of course, though, he fed them.  Alot.  Kids were always eager to get to ride with David for that very reason. 

Another thing is that David was willing to let them throw pies in his face, give him a hard time, that kinda stuff.  He could come up with the craziest things for them to do.  Who knew he had that in him?

Of course, David's involvement led to my involvement, which led our kids to think they belonged in Impact as well.   For two years, we toted kids around, chaperoned trips, fed "starving" teenagers, got lots of hugs, went on Wed nights to teach them about God and His love for them.  Currrently we are on a short break to kind of catch our breath.  But we miss it.  Alot more than we thought we would.

But what kind of impact has Impact had in our lives?

It has shown us that God can do anything in a person's life as long as they were willing.  Through that willingness, He has shown us many things we wouldn't have seen otherwise.  One of those is parenting a teenager.  We knew we had one coming up very soon.  What better way to teach us about them than to totally emmerse us in them.

Now that we have one of our own in this great group, we are surrounded by them on a more personal basis.  It is by the mercy of God that from our involvement, we learned these kids aren't abnormally goofy.  They are normal teenagers, whose brain synapses aren't firing quite like they use to.  They require delicate handling.  Like daring them to eat a spoonful of hot sauce for $1.  Totally letting them embarrass themselves, even contributing to their embarassment.  Creating memories they won't forget.  Teaching them about a God who will love them with all of their inadequacies, even when it doesn't feel like they belong. 

It gave David an education on teenagers.

He learned they are crazy, but normal.

It saved Sara Beth from boarding school.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Great Man!

I don't think I post enough about David.  He deserves some more attention, I think.  I mean, after all, I like paying attention to him.  :)

Where do I start?  First I must start off by commenting on how, this December, he isn't hunting out of town.  He is here with me.  Of course, part of it is because of how they got deer tags this year, but hey, I am going to enjoy it to its fullest.  Although, he may be second guessing his willingness. 

You know, how in December, there are always one to two weeks that are so crazy that it leaves your head spinning.  It seems that everything seems to fall within that time.  You end up running around to this place or that, baking that or this, then running back to that other place to get that last ingredient for this one thing you are   Yeah, well that is where the Pritchards are right now.

And David is here with me.

And I am so thankful.

He has made two double batches of rotel, washed crock-pots, browned sausage, made iced tea, folded towels, hugged me when I thought I was going to lose it, built a fire, kept kids, hugged me again, watched me sleep, got me a rental car, dealt with the insurance company, kept kids, hugged me again, cleaned up the kitchen.  Oh and did I mention work in the middle of all of this?

Yeah, he is a pretty great guy.

And talented too.  See what he can do.  Isn't this beautiful?

And he likes to take me fishing.

I think I'll keep him!

Snowstorm of life

I sure wish I had the time and energy to put down in words all of the blog posts I have scripted in my mind over the last week.  The topics are endless and some very entertaining.  I titled this post the snowstorm because it feels like that has what has happened in our lives over the last couple of weeks.  I almost put whirlwind, but since it is so close to Christmas and since it is so stinking cold, I thought snow worked better.

In brief, (or probably not so brief), we have survived our van, teenage girls, numerous family get-togethers, Christmas decorations, a clean house, nightly events of some sort or another, thyroid dysfunction, hormones, and having to use my brain.  (yeah, that is a feat in and of itself these days.  Ask my brother.)

I guess I will start with the van.  If you will remember, during David's last hunting trip the battery on our van died.  Fortunately, it was at my grandmothers's little retirement place so I could leave it knowing it was safely under diligent security.  I succeeded (with my brother's help and my dad's advice) to get a new battery ($).  Yay, me!  Well, Thanksgiving day, the check engine light came on.  So on black Friday, I borrowed my mom's car, so we could take the van in.  It was some oil and gasket leaking combo thing.  Got it fixed ($$).  Well, that Sunday, two days later, that light came on again.  Yay.  So, Monday, we took it in.  Some sort of different thing, that was caused by the oil and gasket thing.  Got it fixed ($$). 

Oh, I think I have failed to mention that this all happened about around 1,000 miles after our warranty.

That it would have only cost around $50. 

God knows.

Well, this past weekend I was driving 6 girls back from Oxford on Saturday afternoon.  We were just about 15 minutes down the road, with Taylor Swift blaring, when all of a sudden I see deer.  Running.  Across the median.  Towards me. 

My geometry tells me we will meet at some point of intersection.  Hoping she would react like a dog and stop, I honk. Dumb deer decides to keep running.  She skidded, just enough to slow down and hit me broadside, not full head-on collision.   She hit my front left fender and door.  The damage totalled up to a dented front fender and drivers door (and maybe some alignment issues).  We are all very thankful that the damage wasn't worse, that no one was injured and that we could drive home.  And thankful for car insurance. :)

Did I mention the damage to my eardrums from the 6 screaming girls?  Or the avoided damage I with-held from them upon the inquiry of "Can we go back and find the deer?".  Umm, no.

So my van is in the shop again.  At least this time, we have a deductible that is less than our other repairs.  And it covers a rental.   With leather seats.  :)

There is the van saga.  Let's pray that this is all of it for a while.  A very long while.

I did forget the best comment of the day.  It came from David.  "See, this is why I need to hunt so much.  To keep those deer from running into your car." 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twas the night.....

'Twas the night when the thesis was turned in on time,
We went out to celebrate, (and not on a dime!)

We came home to quiet, all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were laid on the nursery floor,
We figured we had a few days, at least maybe 4.

We were all nestled down, all snug in our beds,
While visions of days without schoolwork danced in our heads;

Then mamma in her sweats woke dad up like a snap!
He had finally settled down for a long winter's nap.

"My water has broken", she said with a clatter,.
Dad sprang from the bed and said "Does that really matter".

Away to the shower Dad flew like a flash,
Threw our bags in the car and threw out the trash.

A few hours later on a brisk day with no snow
A baby was born, and Dad, said "Oh"

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature mommy, a new sort of "Dear"

With a kiss and some love to this new little one
They knew in a moment it ain't all gonna be fun.

More rapid than eagles, your cries never ceasing.
They knew, then and there, life as they knew it decreasing.

"No, Sara Beth, no!, they'd say. "Now, come here right now!"

"But I have a better idea", you'd say with a furrowed brow.

To the top of your lungs! To the stretch of your will!
"Now dash away, Mom! I've got desires to fulfill."

Through the years, we felt the hurricane fly by
When met with an obstacle, we  prayed Up to The Sky.

But into our hearts, our love for you grew,
With loveys, and Belle, and sippy cups, too.

And with a twinkling we could never have planned
Has led to a young lady, so special, so grand.

As we think in our head, turn our thoughts back around
We feel like we've been on a merry-go-round.

You dressed as a princess, from your head to your foot,
Now old enough for us to consider your input;

A bundle of toys, your purple butterfly backpack,
A flowing fountain of words, no ideas you would lack.

Your eyes how they twinkle!! Your dimples how merry!
Your cheeks were so plump, and pink like a fairy!

Your little mouth talked non-stop all the day,
With things like "Flaminguin" and "Chick-o-la."

And "commote-control", "hippa-ma-pa-ta-mus" too.
But your first word was "deer", And your dad said "yoo-hoo".

Oh how you loved to giggle and giggle,
And when Daddy tickled you giggled and wiggled.

But no one makes you laugh quite like 'ole Jake;
Enough to give you quite a belly-ache..

You were chubby and plump, a right jolly old girl,
With a halo on top, full of curl after curl.

With the wink of her eye, Mom says, You're the best!
You've given our lives quite a bit of finesse.

God spoke a word, He gave you to us.
We consider you here as one great big plus.

And filled our lives with joy and good pleasure.
We're thankful in your heart, God you pleasure.

You are increasing in height getting well  past my nose,
And we can't seem to keep you fit into your shoes and your clothes;

It's your birthday so we shout, scream and whistle!!
She's turning into a beautiful rose, not a thistle.

So hear us exclaim, while you're still in our sight,

"Happy Birthday to Sara Beth, may you sleep well and tight."

(credit of original poem to Clement C. Moore)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Question for the day....

Credit goes to my mom for this question.  I don't know where she got it, but it is so good I have to post it today. I am sure the wording is off a bit, but it is still the same essence.

"What if you suddenly had to live without the things
you have not been thankful for?"

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Bug Man

I have to tell you what happened yesterday.  A little background first -(I will post more on this later) - With the goal of self-preservation, I decided to go ahead and get the house ready for Christmas.  After a trip to my sister-in-law's store in Oxford on Monday, I thought Tuesday would be a great day to go ahead and get 'er done.  I wanted to do a few things differently this year, so I was looking forward to it.

The kids and I got up, ate breakfast, and then did a few minutes of picking up before we began dragging everything out.  It was a classic morning.  By 8:30, everyone had voiced their opinions of how things should be done and voiced their disappointment over the "changes" I was making.  All over the floor, couches, kitchen table, dining table were ornaments, hooks, styrofoam, bags, hooks, tree needles- you name it everywhere.  Boxes and bags covered the playroom floor.   Katie runs to the bathroom and comes back saying "There is a man in our front yard".  It is 8:45am and my mind starts running.  "What am I missing?".  Oh, yes, Tuesday.  The bug man was coming.  Uh, oops.

I stick my head out the door to let him know I knew he was here.  He said he was early and would be in in just a minute.  I then think about me.  Hair everywhere, unbrushed teeth, pjs on.  I run to my room, get a tad (and I mean a tad) more presentable, giving thanks that I removed some unmentionables off my floor.  Just in time for the bug man to come in. 

A quick side note.  I like our bug man.  It is the same on everytime, so for me that is nice.  I don't have to wonder who I am letting in my house.  For him, he may pray everytime he leaves - for the state of affairs in my home, the fact that my children are there - every single time he comes, for the dazed look in my eye as I try to school my kids.  He has seen alot in our house.

He saw even more this day.  He probably couldn't get through the playroom.  In an effort to make pulling out Christmas stuff a little more manageable, everything was picked up in the playroom.  Then I pull out about 4 boxes of clothes (just to get to the holiday boxes),  and stack and line them up.  Then in addition, wreath bags, holiday boxes of stuff we aren't using this year, legos, gift bags, boxes for wrapping, legos, box lids.  An true obstacle course. Then you know when you are working on one project, other things around the house get less attention, like beds, toilets, dishes.  Yeah. Well.  Poor fellow.

Oh, well.  Such is life in the Pritchard house.  You really never know what you are going to get.  This day, I pray, he saw over the clutter and saw a family enjoying some time off from school. 

I kept telling myself this.

Then I went in my bathroom.

Yes, more unmetionables.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Ode to my dad

Today is Dad's birthday!  Time to celebrate.
With lots of yummy food on your plate.
Like ice cream for breakfast and pumpkin pie,
And anything French (including a fry).

He know about eyes and how they operate.
And teaches to students, who think he is great.
He talks to them, feeds them, then gives them a grade.
Then they graduate, and wish they had stayed,

He likes Mickey Mouse, and it's plain to see.
He even puts Mickey on his Christmas tree.
He has him on paper, pens and neckties.
His students know how to use it as bribes.

As much as he loves Mickey, its easy to see
There are greater things on that Christmas tree.
He loves the Lord with all of his being,
And desires for others to keep on believing.

That's what makes you great, so out goes a shout.
For all the things you have taught us about -
And continue to do with your "grand" off-spring.
For teaching us most about Jesus our King!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Monday, November 15, 2010

When Daddy's gone....

Things are done a little differently around our house when Daddy is gone.  Those of you whose husbands travel know what I mean.  For example, supper is usually a little different.  Or a whole lot different.  Easier, lighter, sometimes eaten out. 

Well, in the past year or two, we have started a new tradition.  Each night David is gone, one of the kids gets to sleep with me.  The kids love it and really look forward to it.  And, believe it or not, it helps me as well.  I guess the mentality that there is someone else in my bed makes me sleep better.  It certainly helps them sleep better.  They all sleep like rocks in there!

In all fairness, we try to rotate and I try to make sure it is somewhat even.  In order to avoid mass confusion and hysteria, we have sort of a system.  This trip that David is on (yes, I said on, not "was on" - I'll explain in a minute), and the one last week, have each been 4 nights.  For the first night, I try to pick someone who has had something special going on or if it will be a late night, I will pick accordingly.  Then I just use my judgement for the rest of the nights and they pretty much cooperate because they know they will each get a turn.  But what to do with that 4th night?  We go to the trusty name jar.

The name jar was Katie's idea and solution as to those decisions that are hard to make with a family of more than one person.  For example, the issue of what game we will play.  We draw a name and it is that persons choice.  Then we work our way through the names until everyone has had a chance to choose something.  Then we start over.  What a great way to settle those disputes! Anyway, I have done this for the "extra" night that David is gone.

Last weekend, Jake got the extra night.  So tonight, I put Sara Beth and Katie's name in the cup and Jake drew (whoever was the last chosen gets to draw) and Katie's name came up.  She was so thrilled.  She got all settled in and when I went to tuck her in, this is what David's side of the bed looked like.

I think it adds a nice feminine touch, don't you think?  Although, it does look like she is settled in for a while.  Is there something I don't know?

I ask that because tonight was the night David was supposed to be home.  Yeah, I got the text this morning- "Umm, do you mind if....The weather's great....The bucks are everywhere...".   So, at that point I begin analyzing.  Hmm, I thought.  Really, the past few days have gone relatively well.  For some reason, during this trip I have slept pretty well.  Yes, I am not getting as much done as I have wanted and I am tired, but it has gone well.  So, I answer him truthfully, that yes, I can do it, and we will be fine, but I will certainly need his help when he gets back to help me get caught up.  But, stay and enjoy.  So he did!

So that is why we got to pull a name out of the jar tonight.  That is why David's bedside is covered with Barbie's tonight.  Katie even put her lotion, her tissues for her sneezes (sounds like a cold coming on) and her garbage can for her tissues.  It appears she has thought of everything she will need for a comfortable night.  Let's just hope she doesn't get too comfortable.  She's going to be booted back to her bed in the morning!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Re-do - The Gift That Keeps on Giving

(Earlier today I posted about this, but after I thought about it I felt like in my effort to be funny, I came across too saracastic and not communicating what I truly felt.  If you read it, read this one and ignore the first.  But here is my repost)

This is my man.  

David and a buck from a few years ago
 My man celebrated his 40th birthday this summer. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he asked for the extra flexibility to hunt this year in Iowa.  I really wanted him to be able to enjoy himself so I said sure.  No problem.  And I meant it.  Hunting is what brings him great joy, so what better gift could I give.  He wanted to be able to take a 4-5 day hunt right at the best time, with the best weather (This hunting thing isn't really something you can plan.).  Then have the option to take another 3-4 day hunt if they didn't take their bucks the first time, and with the flexibility to go when the weather and timing worked.  So I said, Happy Birthday, Honey!!

Well, last Thursday he and his two buddies left at 2:45am for their big first hunt.  All of us (wives and kids included) were wishing that those big bucks they had been eyeing all year (and the year before that and the year before that) would make their appearance within shooting range.  They hunted. And they hunted.  And they hunted.  All the way through  Monday morning.  No luck.  David had alot of fun, but no deer. 

So they arrive home late on Monday night.  David and I are catching up, and you know that birthday wish?  The one with the flexibility?   The conversation went something like this - "Since we didn't kill our big bucks, I would really like to go back.  Soon."  How soon, I ask.  "Ummm, the weather looks good starting on Friday."  Three days home, then back out again. 

My heart felt full and I really wanted this for him, so David cashed in his hunting gift card birthday present.  Off he goes again with high hopes of killing the big one this time.  They know he is there.  But will he show himself.  In shooting range.  That is the question.

Is it worth it you may ask?  Well, David and his buddy left early this morning to try and make it before dark to get a hunt in this evening.  He just sent me a text and this is what it said -"Headed in to the stand now, in freezing cold rain....having a blast!" 

So so worth it!

Especially since my 40th is coming up here soon.   David joked that he wished mine had been first, because he knows what is coming.  I have a feeling my 40th is going to be a great day, month, year!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Flower Child is 7!!

Seven year ago today we had our baby girl.
She entered our lives with such a whirl.

She has colored our life with all sorts of things,
Most of them pink, and with fairy wings.

She likes all things girlie, all things pink
She even likes to say "Cool" and "Boo-yah" with a wink.

A diva in the making, a princess for life
(We are praying for that husband who will make her a wife!)

She's silly and goofy, and a little bit wild,
And enough eccentric to be our "flower child".

No matter her quirkiness, her little own ways,
She has brought us great joy in all of her days.

No matter how God made her, she is perfect in His eyes,
So thankful are we that she will be with Him when she dies.

Happy Birthday, sweet Katie!  It's your big day!
(I know you will remind us in every way!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coolest Mom Award

Each year at the Wednesday before Halloween, our church hosts a Fall Fest in the gym.  A room full of candy, games, candy, inflatables, candy, lots of costumes, etc.  This year Jake wanted to be a punk rocker.  He wanted his hair in a mohawk, spray painted red then black on the sides.  As I was spraying his hair, I had an epiphany.  A thought that wins me this award.  I asked Jake if he wanted a real mohawk.  You know, where I buzz the sides.  Jake usually has a buzz cut, but he has wanted it long lately, so it would be perfect.  Of course, he totally went for it and I started buzzing away.  He loved it!!  And I think this makes me one cool mom!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Why's

Why did my Tuesday, Bible Study day, go so well? 
    Because I know you have been praying.  Thank you!

Why do my kids think it is fun to use motions and no words to try to communicate with me?
    Don't they know my brain is addled enough already

Why do I always seem to want what I don't have?
    Oh, the seeds of discontentment that need to be weeded out

Why are 6yr old girls doing a fashion show so darn cute?
    Even cuter when one of them is the child of one of my high school classmates

Why won't the weather make up its mind?
     I am tired of having two sets of clothes to dig through.

Why do I not sit and drink coffee all day long like I really want to?
     Sleep is difficult enough as it is.

Why do I need to re-do my re-caulking job in our shower?
     Umm, maybe the fact we finally got rain and the humidity made it separate?  Uggghhh.

Why do I keep thinking that school lets out at 3 today, when it lets out at 2 and always has?
     It's because of my addled brain.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Back in August, I had decided to not do a Bible Study on Tuesdays.  It would be me and Katie time while the two big kids were at their classes.  Sitting in an all-women's event at church one Sunday morning, not long after this decision, I heard what our women's Bible Study was going to be all about.  It looked great, but mentally I thought, no, it will just be a me and Katie day.  Well, the Holy Spirit kept tugging (you know the one I am talking about) and before the hour was up I knew that this is what I needed to do.  If I had known what my Tuesdays would look like once I started Bible Study, I might have thought twice about it. (Just kidding, really.  I knew this is where I was supposed to be)  Let's discuss my Tuesdays, shall we?

First week - I went in with my lesson "How to Disciple Others" completed!!  I left wondering what I was going to do with Katie the rest of the weeks while I was in Bible Study.  There had been some miscommunication regarding childcare for homeschool kids and there weren't really enough to do much with.  Totally took my thoughts for the rest of the day and made me frustrated.  I knew the Lord wanted me there, and I knew He would figure it out, but it bugged me like a nasty wound all day.  I had a difficult time turning it over to the Lord.  Maybe I was extra hormonal or something.  Either way, I finally got over it.  And my sweet mom felt like she needed to be the one to keep Katie (instead of her tagging along with me each week to sit and do school work, while I did Bible Study).  So more often than not, the two of them have a sweet time together. 
If I hadn't been there that first day I would have missed this: The definition of a disciple - A committed, lifelong learner, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Second week- This week my Tuesday wasn't as bad as my Wednesday.  Which the afternoon and evening were spent with me in the ER with what was now a thryoid related heart thing.  All is fine, but that certainly took my mind off of what I was learning and kept jumping back to that.  How quickly our mind goes from one thing to another.
If I hadn't been there that week I wouldn't have memorized this scripture: John 5:24- Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My Word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life.

Third week - Remember that mind thing - how quickly our mind can get taken over my something else?  Just as Bible Study was ending on this Tuesday,  I received a phone call that so suddenly seized my thoughts and emotions I was useless for the rest of the day.  Not only was my mind wandering from my Christ, but my life and tasks ahead. 
This is what I forgot for the rest of that day- Galatians 5:15-17 - Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Fourth week- Gratefully, another Tuesday that was spared.  But the Monday and Wednesday certainly made up for it.  David had been out of town, I was exhausted, the kids were rotten, then I started feeling bad on Wednesday.  Uggh.  Two very, very long days. 
What I learned at Bible Study that I practiced the rest of the week - Spiritual Breathing - Exhaling our sins and confessing them, but the Inhaling, breathing in the Holy Spirit to let Him take control again.  Did my life those days look like the life of a Spirit-filled Christian?

Fifth week - Ha, gotta love this one.  Because I had been recaulking our shower, I had to take mine in the hall bath, later in the morning so not to wake others up.  A little before 7, I knew Katie was up, so I quietly told her I was hopping in the shower.  Just as I was getting in, she started to come in.  As quietly as I could over the noise of the shower so not to wake up Jake, I told her not to come in but to go to my bathroom.  Repeat.  I hop in and had only washed my face when Katie says loudly she had a nosebleed.  Of course I holler at her to come in.  I look and she is covered, I mean covered, with blood.  Apparantly she sneezed and her nose exploded.  For the next little bit, I wrestle my towel, trying to get her nose to stop bleeding, trying to keep her from looking in the mirror so she will quit screaming, wondering how much blood is from here to my bathroom.  All before 7 am.  Then it hits me.  Oh, yeah, it's Tuesday.  My mom had a minute so between the two of us, the carpet, clothes, towels, tile got clean.  I got my second shower.  A lunch was fixed (the one day I had to help).  It took both of us to have it all done by 8:30. 
If I hadn't been at Bible Study - I wouldn't have had the sweet fellowship of my group as we ate lunch together and heard great teaching on growing in Christ, and how fellowship is a part of that.  "The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer"- Bonhoffer.

This week- This week my mom was unable to keep Katie due to a previous commitment.  I decided she and I need some girlie time.  I didn't go to Bible Study, but took some much needed time finishing some quick schoolwork, then watching a movie with popcorn and having cookies with icing before we ate our lunch.  Then she proceeded to beat me twice in Sequence.  Yes, I missed some great teaching, but I got fed in another way.  By the way, the day went smoothingly well.  No issues, no catastrophies, no health issues.  That doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
But, because of Bible Study (I did do my lesson!), I had some great days learning about different ways to have a quiet time.  Some sweet times with the Lord.

Thankfully, in a selfish kinda way, there are only a few weeks left of this semester of Bible Study.  He is teaching me so much, and He is certainly putting me through some drills to make sure I get it down.

Only 5 more days until I get to do it again.  :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh. My. Word.

"Oh, My Word" is the only way I can describe how our life has changed this year. 

I don't know if I have mentioned this in any of my previous posts, so forgive me if I am being redundant.  But, last year for school (and for most days of all of our homeschooling history), we spent most of our days at home.  We would school in the mornings until lunch.  Eat lunch together, sometimes me reading aloud to the kids.  After lunch we would all take a reading break.  The afternoon was spent catching up on any "homework", running errands, spending a bit doing a few household chores. 

This year, each day, but Friday, we are out and about.  Multiple times.  Each day.  Monday, back and forth with two ballet lessons.  At different times.  Tues, classes and Bible Study.  Wed, classes.  Thur, art and class for Katie.  Being out and about more often, of course brings more "quick" trips to various places.  You know what I mean, "Oh, I need "such and such".  While I am right here, why don't I run in 'real quick".  I have done okay on sticking to what I need, and mostly the real quick part.  It is the quantity part that is killing me. 

Anyway, all of this has thrown me for a loop.  I realize that we are entering a new stage of life.  And I don't like it.  I want my old days back.  They were pleasant, not chaotic.  The house was fairly clean, not a pit.  The van got better gas mileage, now I idle.  Sigh.  I miss it.  I feel like a part of me has died.  I know.  That sounds silly.  But it is a giving up of what once was, knowing that I probably won't get it back.  Kids get older.  Sigh. (I am certainly being unusually sentimental.  I am tired.)

I can't say that it is all bad, what we are doing.  The kids needed something different this year.  So it is in their best interest.  It is hard for me to remember the boredom that they experienced.  Not too terribly hard to remember the power struggles that came with me teaching them, and all of us frustrated and in tears. The times I struggled to make sure I was teaching them enough, but realizing I was stinking at what I was teaching them.  We needed a change this year, but change can also be uncomfortable.  It makes us grow in ways we wish we didn't have to.

And here I thought that this year would be a great year to begin blogging.  I used to have time.  I now have more crumbs under my table, horrible gas mileage, a to-do list that only gets longer each day, and children, of whom two, this year, are learning more than I am able to teach them and one that I am getting extra time with that I didn't have last year.

And for that it is all okay.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How Ironic....

If you read my last post on my tightwadness frugality, you will find this post very ironic and somewhat amusing. 

First, my disclaimer - By this post I am in no way trying to brag or boast about myself.  You will see why I need to say this as you read.  Now, here we go-

As we approach this fall season (for which the Pritchards are jumping for joy!), it is time to dig out the fall clothes.  It is time to don the jeans (yes!), long sleeve shirts and sweaters.  When I put up my clothes last year, I knew that some updating of my wardrobe was going to be necessary.  Mostly tops and some casual church clothes.  I had plenty of jeans, because Old Navy had there's for $15 one time and so I stocked up in that area.  But, I knew I would need to add some things.

But as I began this process of pulling thabout a week or two ago, I noticed a trend.  Definitely a good one, I think.  This summer, in a very short amount of time and in a very not fun way, I lost quite a bit of weight.  Remember this post - Proceed With Caution?   So this is where my disclaimer kicks in.  I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone.  Ever.  But, it came with some perks.  I think I deserve that for what I went through.

I digress.

Oh, the clothes.  So I pull out my jeans to wear to Bible Study.  Instead of looking hip and cool, I look like a bag lady in clown pants.  I keep pulling stuff out and same story on everything.  Too big.  Tis true, a nice problem to have, but a most inconvenient one.  I am having to start over.  On my wardrobe.  And I don't mean a few things here and there.  Alot of things here and there.  Most everything here and there.

Unfortunately, for everyone else their opinion of my problem is "yippee!".  The lady at Stein Mart asked me if I was looking for anything in particular.  I said no, I am having to start over.  She responded with such enthusiasm, "Oh, What Fun!".  Sara Beth is so excited that I will look modern now.  (sigh)  David is so thrilled to have my pre-baby weight (I almost said pre-baby body or shape, but alas, no, that will never happen), he is willing to buy me anything. 

But, alas, this isn't fun for me.  You see becuase I am a tightwad frugal and add to that my fashion illiteracy simplicity, this ends up being a chore.  And also, like I have time do any of this.  I truly am trying to have the right attitude.  This is supposed to be fun, right?  When I ran back to Stein Mart Saturday to take advantage of their sale (that started the day after I bought some stuff.  Uggh, my frugalness made me go back.  I saved some $$ too!)), I was trying to make sure I had looked at everything, and started getting dizzy.  Overwhelmed.  It was all too much.  I got in line and was able to gather myself together before I lost it in front of the cashier, "Why can't we just all have uniforms!! Oh, the choices!"

So, this is my quest.  Starting my wardrobe over.  I cleaned it all out today, and tried it on.  I wanted to just know what I had.  Here is the what I am starting from that fits for fall- Bottoms: 1 pair of black travel pants, 1 pair of rust/brown travel pants, 1 brown skirt (more fall not winter).  Tops: a couple of sweaters, maybe 3, some long sleeve casual shirts (4 or 5), and some that are good in between season (2).  Yep, that's it.  Ain't much.  Oh, just remembered, I have a two vests that I can wear with the casual shirts.  I have some capris (one size too big) that I can wear for a bit with long sleeves.  My Old Navy jeans are in a pile waiting to be shrunk.

How ironic that I just posted on my frugal-ness, and now I am having to go spend money on clothes.  When truthfully, I would rather not.  Sigh.  I am sure you will continue to hear updates on this saga, and when I feel like dealing with technology I will get my kiddos to take some pictures and show you my new look.  Oooh, you know what that made me think of?  Those cheesy make-over shows.  Do you think I would qualify?  Naaah, probably not.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Frugal to a Fault

Hello. My name is Stacey.  I am a tightwad frugal woman.  And I need help.  Here is my story.

Ever since I can remember, I have hated spending money.  Truly.  I hate it.  As a child, I was racked with guilt over purchase of new clothes, esp if they didn't come from the sale rack.   As a child once I purchased an item, it received great care.  And little use.  If I used it, then I wouldn't have it later.  Then I would have to buy it again (spend money).  As I grew older, I would love to say that things changed.  But alas no.  (My parents might disagree with that last statement, esp in college, but they would admit that I hate spending money).

When David and I married, I kept costs to a bare minimum.  As newlyweds, as a sweet gesture, he gave me some cash, equal to the amount of money he had spent on hunting that year.  I kept it for at least a year before I started spending it and I believe it took me almost two years to go through it.  The amount- $400.
To this day, he still brings that up when I start balking about spending money.

When shopping, I always go to the sale rack.  I hardly ever pay full price for anything.  Wise, you might say.  But, then when I do decide on an item, I hem, I haw, I stew.  About 80% of the time it goes back on the rack (or I will take it back to the store).  I can talk myself out of buying just about anything.

My 'come-to-Jesus' moment about this issue (and how I had taken it too far) came one day while fixing three hungry children their lunch.  I had specially parceled out chicken nuggets for each child, along with a fruit or veggie, etc.  Plenty of food.  They asked for more chicken nuggets.  My inner self (and somewhat my outer self) went "Why, of course not.  If you eat more then I will have to get more.  Therefore spending more money."   At this point, I realized that this was ridiculous.  Now, understand I am against just giving my children whatever, whenever they want.  But, I realized I was hoarding rationing their food for my silly issue with spending money.  I realized that I had done the same thing with other foods.  It was there, but if they had eaten it, I would have had to buy more.  (yes, poor rationale, because then I would have to throw it out because it would have gone bad).  See, this is real issue, people!

That is what makes my post about retail therapy so unusual for me.  I spent money.  Without a set purpose (okay, some of it was for a good purpose).  And I enjoyed it.  And I am restraining myself from taking it back. (yes, really)

So, what changes have I made to overcome this issue?  And by overcome, I don't mean a blank check to spend however I want.  I mean, what do I need to do to become a good steward of God's blessings, without making it another sin issue by worrying and fretting over it?

First, God blessed me with a Godly husband who has done a great job of helping me think through how much time and energy I used trying to save a buck.  In times, when I know it is prudent to do such-and-such, I think, if Davd were here, what would he tell me?  I try to catch myself and turn my thoughts around when they become filled with thoughts of guilt.  I tell myself because I pinched here on this, it is okay to spend on that.  Making choices.  Ugggh. Which I hate.  But I try and turn it over to the One who gave it to me.

In our house it has become an area of laughter, though.  It is pretty funny when you think about it.  As I look back on things I have done without-some justifiable, some not so much.   Take for example the spatula mentioned in retail therapy.  I could so certainly have justified getting all these little toothpicks, and other cleaning supplies and started scrubbing away at my old moldy spatula.  That is my natural bent.  But out of love for my family, I sacrificed my desire and bought a new one.  Sigh.  I still have buyers remorse over my new spatula.  Should I have bought the cheaper set (you know the two piece kind that would have gotten all moldy again)?  Of course, they were out of those at Target.  So all I was left with was the $5 one.  One piece.  Purple (oh, so cute).  Heavy enough to whip some backsides into shape too.  (hee, hee, I have had fun threatening my offspring with this one!) 

But the ultimate question....Could I have gotten it cheaper at Walmart?   Oh, the pressure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Ode To Jake

We celebrate our only son,  but think to ourselves what have we done?
The noises, the dirt,
the many stains upon your shirt.

The eating of bugs, and digging of holes,
The clutching of our very souls.

Spiderman, Batman, Jack Sparrow, too.
Nothing was too cool for you.

We've felt your legos between our toes,
and smelled smells that burned our nose.

You've driven a tractor, killed a deer,
Jumped from heights with no fear.

You've now grown cooler, and cooler still,
You can quote Tim Hawkins out of will.

Never ending with tales and jokes
Always wanting to entertain the folks.

You are loud, yes that is true,
But we'll forgive you, a Bulldog through and through.

So much to think about, that we want to say,
But most of all Happy Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Retail Therapy

Today, my wonderful husband, David, treated me to some time off.  I treated myself to some retail therapy, shopping and buying.  For some of you who know me, this comes as a shock.  I am not much of a shopper, more of a wanderer, really not a buyer.  I am too frugal for that. I can't stand to spend money. (I'll get to that in another post)  But, every once and a while, like every good woman, I can enjoy a good day of shopping and buying. :)  Why is that?  Why does a woman feel so good after a good purchase? 

Today, I wandered a local arts and crafts festival.  One vendor had these homemade soup making kits.  All the spices, etc ready to go and all you have to do is add meat/beans/cheese.  It smelled delicious.  As I wandered over, she offered me a taste.  Oh. My. Word.  Unbelievably good.  Yes, I bought some and can't wait to make them!!  I also ended up buying some candles that I have had my eye on for about 4 years (see, how hard it is for me to spend).  I ate lunch (moderately priced quiche) at the bookstore (a heavenly escape for me) then I hit the mall. Alone. Sigh.  Hmm, I tried on clothes at Dillards (I had a credit there) and spent it on ladies apparel.  I bought some wallflower refills from Bath and Body.  Apple. :)  I found a new store for teens, an off shoot of American Eagle and found a cute dress for Sara Beth for $12. :)  Found a shirt for Katie for a happy (on sale with extra 40% off - under $4).  Target was next, looked at anti-aging creams without impatient children around.  Oh, and I bought a new spatula.  Our old one molded down the handle.  The new one is all one piece.  Of course it was more expensive than the two piece ones, and it killed me but I felt it was an investment.  For $5 it ought to last forever. 

So that was my day.  I came home feeling refreshed and ready to go.  That lasted till bedtime.  I think I need another day off tomorrow too.  Just to be sure.  I mean it is a busy week.  Hunting season started.  My son will be 11.  I have to do a birthday.  You know, I spent some money today.  I enjoyed it.  But now the guilt has started.  I need tomorrow to return everything. :)  (just kidding.  That is just every other time I shop)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thoughts for Thursday (well,I am trying anyway)

I am needing to put a positive spin to my thoughts today, so in order to help me, I will start each one with thankfulness. :)  Here it goes-

*I am thankful for good doctors, despite having to wait for two hours to see him.

*I am thankful that I own more than three shirts.  That is the number of shirts I have managed to stain in the last 24 hours.

*I am thankful that evening comes each day and that I have a bed upon which to lay my head.

*I am thankful that I have learned to manage on my own during the last 72 hours without my mother or husband around.  (That sounds like I am a weanie, but I really needed some childcare help.  Said child just stayed home alone.  Don't worry, it wasn't Katie.)

*I am thankful for the hint of fall in the air, despite sweating to death the last two days.

*I am thankful that 5 of my friends are getting to take their kids to Disney World this fall.  Truly, I am so excited for them!  I just wish I fit into a carry-on.

*I am thankful that, as I was filling my laundry detergent dispenser thingy, that some of it spilled over the side and all over my hand.  Otherwise, I don't think it all would have fit.

*I am thankful for my new computer, even though I haven't had time to figure anything new on it yet, nor look for my pictures.

*I am thankful for my sweet children, who are arguing.  If I didn't have them, then things would be too quiet.

*I am thankful for kids old enough to stay home alone so David and I can have a date this weekend.

*I am truly, truly thankful!!  Despite my sarcasm, life is good and I am blessed beyond measure!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


If you know the Pritchards well enough, you know that we are die hard Mississippi State fans.  I mean, after all, if it weren't for Mississippi Stae, then you wouldn't have the Pritchards at all.  (Yeah, I know that God could have worked through all of that to get us together regardless, but I think He chose a grand spot for it).

We were blessed to be able to get our hands on some tickets for the football season opener against Memphis. The kids haven't been to a home game yet, so what a great chance.   Playing against Memphis made it even more fun.  Upon arrival we drove around a bit, showing them some spots from our lives there, including driving by the Baptist Student Union, where we met.  (There's where it all started, kids!)  We then parked for the day and did a walking tour of some fun spots. 
Of course, everything has changed so much!  There is even a Chick-Fil-A on campus, right across from the Starbucks.  How I could have blown some money there back in my day.  (Which makes me wonder how will we ever pay for college for our kids??) 

During our walking tour around campus, David and I were amazed at the change in pre-game activities.  Back in the day, before a game we would gather at someone's house or apartment or just go out to eat, then go straight to the game.  Umm, not now.  Everywhere we looked were tents.  Tents with lots of ymmy food, cowbells, and large flat screen tv's hooked to satellite dishes.  What????  Are you serious???  But as we thought about it, why not hang out in the tents, participate in festitivies, then watch the game from the comfort of your favorite chair with great homemade food.  Not such a bad idea after all.  I like this idea.  :)  It got us all excited about when our kiddos go there.  (well, you never know, but I think we have at least one firm commitment).

The game itself was a blast!  Jumbo tron, air conditioned area for bathrooms and eating, Dreamland bar-b-q nachos.  Just divine.  The kids had a blast with all of it, especially ringing their new cowbells.  David thought it only fitting that they each have their own.  Jake got maroon, while Sara Beth and Katie got pink, although Katie's is pint sized. So cute.  These wonderfully loud noisemakers were purchased at the on campus Barnes and Noble (again, what???) right by the stadium, where there must have been around 50,000 of the 56,000 game attendees in line.

The Bulldogs smeared the Tigers (of course).  I saw the best t-shirt.  At the top it said "Memphis Bar-b-q Bulldog style" and the picture was Bully holdling a (small) Tiger on a skewer over a grill.  Loved it!!   We came home late, completely covered with nacho cheese sauce, face paintings of pawprints, and kids who are Maroon and White forever!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I just lost a year off of my life

Today was a crazy day.  Left the house at 8:30, school, Bible Study, Chick-Fil-A, library, school, dentist (for 2 hrs with three kids), returned at 4:30.   I am not used to days like this.  I am getting older and days like this make me feel really older.  But that isn't what got me.

David managed to make it home earlier tonight than lately.  (This is his busy season, so he many times works until dark)  Because he made it home early, we were able to grab some family time and played Clue.  Mrs. White, in the conservatory, with the lead pipe.  And David won.  He always wins.  But that isn't what got me.

After our game, while the kids were getting ready for bed, I was cleaning up the kitchen and getting the garbage together.  I happened to glance in the dining room, right where it meets the kitchen.  There on the floor is a black lizard.  I thought, "Oh, those kids are at it again.  Trying to scare me with that lizard.  Usually it's bugs.  Oh.  Wait.  We don't own a black striped plastic lizard.  THERE'S A LIZARD IN THE DINING ROOM!!!"   It looked like this. But that isn't what got me.

Of course, everyone comes running, asking "Can we keep it?  Can we keep it?".  David starts trying to figure out how to get it out. It is obviously not right, because it isn't moving  much at all.  David takes a large bowl and places it over the lizard.  He then slides a folder under the bowl, to lift it up.  The folder is giving a little so there is a gap.  I reach over and place my hand under it so it is flush with the bowl.  By the way it is a clear bowl so we can see that the lizard has some life left in him.  He is flinging himself (or herself.  I didn't get close enough to check gender) all over that bowl.  So, not only can we see him, but hear the thuds as well.   Nice.

As I reached my hand under, David moved slightly so it would be easier for us.  In the process, a slight gap appeared.  Little fella decided to take his chance at freedom.  On me.  I promise you, he nose-dived right into my legs.  Well, that led to my legs jumping my wholeself onto the counter.   THAT is what got me.

The lizard thudded to the floor.  I guess he must just be claustrophobic b/c the only time we saw him move was while he was in the bowl.  Jake and David finally managed to get him out the door (while laughing at me the whole time).  Once set free, the lizard just sat there (stunned by the crazy woman leaping through the air emitting high pitched noises).  David nudged him and he was off.  Slowly.

David came in and delcared that this incident just took a year off of my life.  I think they should be happy that they ended the day with a laugh.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Go Bluefins!!!

Back in the summer of 2005, the Pritchards were introduced to the sport of competitive swimming.  That summer we joined the Y and became a Bluff City Bluefin family.  It was a great experience for Sara Beth and Jake, who were 7 and 5 at the time.  Katie, at 18 months, was a tad too young.  :)   Since joining we have had 5 great summers swimming with this team.  We did 4 yrs, took a break, then completed our 5th year this summer.  Oh, and yes, Katie joined in the fun as well.  

What I love about summer swimming is that it keeps the kids active in the summer, keeps us cool, and is just a whole lot of fun.  Our typical week looks like this.  When morning practices begin, we are out the door at 7:30.  Yep, that's right.  Even in the summer.  Katie practices from 8-9.  Sara Beth and Jake either lay around and try to wake up or they take some time and swim for fun.   At 9, they switch.  Usually at the time Katie has some playmates and they take off to swim and play together.  At 10, the same children who earlier said they were so tired and didn't want to swim today, come up and ask if we can stay.  (Maybe I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea).  Most days, before dragging out the door at 7:30, we will have managed to grab some snacks, we can have the flexibility to stay and play for a while.  On those days, sometimes we wouldn't get home till 12.  Okay, so that is Monday - Wednesday.  Thursdays are meet days, so if we went to practice that morning, we usually headed home as soon as it was over.  Thursday afternoons were spent getting ready: each child gets dressed, gets a back of things to do and snacks, then line up so I can write their events on their arms and names on their backs.  Yes, I know.  In sharpie no less.   Then we head out the door at about 4:30.  Meets start at 6, end at 10.  We come home, drop in the bed, and sleep in on Fridays. :)

We have found that it is a great activity and one everybody does together so it makes for a great family event.  We are considering year round swimming but haven't made that dive yet.  (pun intended)

Here are some highlights of our year.
Katie, freestyle
Sara Beth, backstroke.
Gotta love the grin!
Katie, again, in a relay
Jake, at City Meet
What a haul!! 

I cannot forget to add that the Bluefins were city champs again!!!  Way to go Bluefins!!


Oh, the joys of technology.  Well, I guess so...maybe...gotta think on that one a bit.  Honestly, and some of may actually gasp out loud, I find that technology is more of a burden to me than it is a help.  Maybe it is my age that makes it a burden.  My kids seem to catch on quickly enough.  So, I don't know what it is, but I do know it makes my life more complicated.  How can the be, you ask?  Let me explain.

Instead of sitting down and writing a note, I type an email.  Since I can type faster than I can write, I write more.  Then the computer decides it doesn't like my email.  It shuts down, crashes, whatever and my email is lost.  So is my time.  The mailman will always be there.   Computers can be ornary.

Our computer crashed several weeks ago and we got our new one yesterday.  So instead of doing fun things like cleaning my shower or doing laundry, I get to figure out where all my pictures went and how to download programs we thought were on it and are not.  See, I have better things to be doing.

I like the feel of a good book in my hand.  I do not like holding metal while I read.  Therefore I do not want a Kindle.  What would you do if that thing crashed right at the last chapter?  Or if it decided to not turn the page right as the killer was being identified ...on the next page.  No, I'll keep my paper thank you.

What about encyclopedias and afternoons at the library doing research in reference books that can't be checked out?  There is great value in that don't ya' think.  It seems way too easy for my kids to do research and look up words in the ipod dictionary app. 

And then there's facebook and blogs.  They just pull you in to no avail.  It seems like we can't even think about life before we had instant access to each other's lives.  Don't get me wrong, I love those things (many times too much).  But it has to be managed.  Thought about.  Decided upon whether if now is a good time to quickly check up on things.  Complicated.

Cell Phones: the ever present connection to everything.   Can't say that this is a good thing.  What about just being, sitting, enjoying a glass of sweet tea on the porch.  Of course, the phone is a choice and can be turned off.  But then, it is waiting when you turn it back on.  Voicemails, emails, texts.  Now, I am not bashing cell phones.  I see the advantage in them.  That's why we have them (so I can safely run away from home and still be able to handle issues that come up).   :)

Do you see the complicated-ness of all of this?  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  But secretly in my mind, I hope for that long awaited solar flare to hit and fry all of this stuff and we will be back to square one.  Isn't that awful?  Just in case, I have made sure my kids know how to look up words in the dictionary (still working on the encyclopedia thing), know how to exercise without the wii, and now how to hand wash dishes just in case those dishwasher push buttons break.   For me, I am old enough to remember life before all of this stuff.   It was nice. :)

So, now our new computer is almost functional.  So now I can blog again.  To avoid my favorite activities of housecleaning and grading papers. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tidbits of our Week

A few things about my week. Random, yes, but hopefully interesting.

*At Veritas you can most certainly differentiate between new homeschoolers and young ones versus us veterans.  There were lots of cameras, esp among those parents of young students. 

Parents of young students - "Oh, my sweet, sweet child is starting school.  He is such a big boy.  Let us make a moment with the whole family.  Say, Cheese". 

Me -"THANK YOU, JESUS, for Veritas!  You are honestly saving my life.  Bye kids, go on now, shoo.  Is there anyway that they can stay later?  Come another day?." 

See the difference.

*Parents at Veritas cannot walk or drive through a parking lot safely.  Maybe they are so distracted by their emotions.   I would back my car up, stop, back up an inch, stop, repeat.    If you are wondering if that was you, it wasn't.  No one I knew was one of these who almost walked into the end of my van.  I have since found a better parking space.  Oh, but wait.  Carpool line starts next week.

*I attended a wedding yesterday.  On a Wednesday, you might ask.  Well, absolutely.  It was the wedding of Rascal (Katie's stuffed puppy) to Go-Go (her stuffed lamb which baa's).   A monkey officiated.  Rascal, the groom, had a wedding ring of a hair band.  Go-Go's ring, of course, was of much better quality.  A silly band.  Shaped like a birthday cake.  Guests included a myriad of stuffed animals and a couple of humans.  Oh, and it was an exclusive affair.  We had to have tickets.  Not just any 'ole tear off tickets.  These tickets had to be scanned.  By the princess cash register.  See, it was a societal affair.  I hate you missed it.

*I love Lands End.  Really love Lands End.  They allowed me to return the kids monogrammed backpacks, which had been used.  No problems whatsoever.  That is amazing! Absolutely amazing!  This is why I am frequenting them more often.  Best return policy ever. 

*Impact (our church's jr high) started back up last night.  Gotta love a bunch of jr highers.  Squealing, hugging, dodging boys playing rough games, a madhouse to the rotel and browies, stepping on smooshed chips and smeared rotel on the floor, learning about why we live the life we live for Christ.

*Jake needs to able to hunt.  Every day during the school year.  Armed with the fact that he would be able go dove hunting that afternoon, ONLY if he got all his school work done, Jake finished in record time.  What a joy that was to all of us!

*Jake can shoot a gun.  Very well for a boy his age.  On his 6th shot, he brought down his first dove.  Yippee!  He is putting meat on our table!  And loving every minute of it!

*Sara Beth has come alive with school.  She loves it!  She has met some great friends and really seems to be thriving.  What a great answer to prayer!

*Life is busy, but also Life is Good!  God has blessed us with a great couple of weeks and answered so many prayers!  What peace there is in that.

Monday, August 30, 2010

'reading, writing, 'rithmetic'....and hunting

I had a few free minutes tonight (I know, can you believe it?), so I thought I would blog a bit.  I started going through the pictures on our laptop and couldn't find anything recent.  (I don't know how to download the pics without Easy Share, and that is on our other computer which is at the shop, on hospice care.)  But, I did come across a couple I just couldn't resist.

We officially started school last week and we totally are doing something different this year. I will get to that more in a minute.  I have to share the cutest picture of Sara Beth and Jake one day doing school.  Sara Beth is doing first grade work and Jake kindergarten.  Oh, just too cute!

What are we doing this year?  The two big kids are going to Veritas Classical Schools.  It is a "tutoring" program, which meets once a day for k-6 and two days for 7-12.  The school provides the curriculum and teachers, we purchase the books.  Then, each week, an assignment is sent out to be completed before the next class.    So far, they have completed one week's worth of assignments and started week 2.  Tomorrow is their first day of class.  They are both each a bit nervous and excited, which is to be expected.  I am thrilled! :)  Of course, I am a bit nervous that I will forget to take them.   My opinion so far, a week and a half in - Love it!  It is still quite a bit of work for me, but I am not doing the planning nor the teaching actually.  Just assisting in work.  My brain is free!  No lesson plans, no forgetting to do lesson plans, no waking up wondering what we get done for the day.  Ahhh.

What about Katie, you ask?  Aren't there lesson plans involved with her?  Well, yes and no.  Sweet Katie and I are getting a year together.  One of the motivations for Veritas for the other two was so I could spend more time teaching Katie.   We are doing our own thing with her, cause I mean, good grief.  I have done first grade twice, and it is just first grade.  I can just pull it out and go.  But, given the state of my brain and the fact I have three children leeching what is left, I have to help myself.  I do have a semi-lesson plan to refer to just to make sure I am on track.  But it doesn't take long. 

For Katie's math this year I am doing something new, Math-U-See.  It requires Katie to watch a brief instructional video before her lesson.  To my complete shock and utter amazement, this video seems to grab the attention of the entire household.  There are even groanings of disappointment if it is a short video.  Go figure.  I promise you, if I had tried that with the other two, they would have watched with their eyes closed.  I guess because it isn't for them they have the freedom to actually watch and pay attention.  I say, great!  It is good reinforcement.

In addition to their academic education, Sara Beth and Jake furthered their knowledge by successfully completing their Hunter Safety Education Class.  This now will allow them to obtain their hunting license and contribute to putting meat on our table.   Now that they have passed, hunting and shooting as taken over this family.  We went out Saturday to shoot and practice with a gun.  Katie shot the BB gun for the first time and came real close to the target.  Sara Beth and Jake did some skeet shooting and did well.  Jake actually made contact with the skeet on his fourth pull.  Sara Beth hasn't had as much practice with a gun, so she didn't do quite as well, but determined she is.  She has asked David all day the past two days to go shoot.   Of course, I took pictures, but of course, I don't know how to download them.  But here is one of Jake, early in his hunting career.