We put a cheese bake of sharp cheddar and Monteray Jack pepper with green chillies in the oven. We took it to church to share with the Elevate volunteers. Elevate is our churches' K-5 childrens ministry. Jeff, the boys, and I serve each Sunday morning at 8:15 in various capacities. Jeff is a sheriff, I work the guest desk, and the boys serve in the technical department. A couple times a month we bring breakfast to share.
Church service was amazing. We set in the coffee bar, share a coffee or soda, open our Bibles on the table, greet friends walking by, and enjoy the service as a family around a table where we hold hands during prayer, even our sons grab our hands and join in agreement.
This service had a drama presentation associated with the sermon on serving. A group of volunteer singers performed songs written on serving to the tunes of Broadway musicals. Awesome! Then Cam's sermon on serving was very affirming. We have figured out along the way that serving is but another act of worship to our Lord.
When we got home John and Jarrod prepared the Jalapeno Poppers for our small group dinner that evening
After a brief time of family upheavel the boys spent a couple hours working on their Eagle projects. The upheavel was centered around their Eagle projects - inactivity. But, I think we might have turned a corner. I hope we have turned a corner.
Jeff worked on Blue trying to figure out what is wrong with the speedometer without any luck. He washed the new truck.
I pulled out stamps and stamped a card. It is the beginning of my next 'set' of cards that I'm adding to my collection to sell to raise funds for John and Jarrod's Eagle project. It is a simple, but super cute thank you card. Besides taking them to sell at co-op I'm not sure how else we'll be able to sell them but I'm sure we'll figure something out.
Late afternoon we headed to the Farmer's for our small group gathering and Low Country Boil. Normally, small group is in our home unless we are sharing a meal. The Farmer's have a great layout for a large group gathering. The men cooked up the Low Country Boil and the women gathered in the kitchen to begin chatting about - everything. The food and fellowship was awesome - as usual. We have such an amazing small group.
Home by 8:30 or so and we watched a couple of episodes of NUMB3RS, our present Netflix find.
A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.
And our week has begun with: the boys and I studying our Bible lessons, Beth Moore's Daniel, and listening to her next lesson to begin our week off right. I read aloud a chapter in our Lord of the Rings Literary lessons.
I bought a FitBit band to replace my torn one and I have already walked today. I finished The Girls Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs and have begun Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig.
And it is 3:30 on Monday afternoon and it is only 83F degrees.
For this page I used a Cathy Zielske template again but enlarged the area (white space plus photos) to cover more of the page and removing the off-centered approach from the original template - it made me uncomfortable. Because it was Cathy's template I'm sure there was some 'design' element with the off-centered feel of the page but I'm finding evenness works more and more for me. Using Cathys' terms, clean and simple.
I like how I am making pages recently of life and not events. Here, the boys are just washing the white truck. Later, this past weekend 'blue' got some attention too but this was for Jeff taking the vehicle now for work.
On my 50 in my 50th year list is read 30 new books. I have about three more months to complete this project and at the rate I'm going I think this project will be a success.
For so long, except for homeschool selections for the boys I'd only been re-reading books that I own. While there is nothing wrong with re-reading selections, especially if you love the books - and the books I've been re-reading I love, I knew I needed to branch out in my selections and find some new reads.
Over the last couple of months I've only added three new titles to my read 30 new books in my 50th year.
The Giver | While I wouldn't say it was a bad book, it was very different. This was a selection on John and Jarrod's American Literature reading list that we ended up reading over the summer months in order to finish up American Literature. I understand there is a movie out right now but after reading the book I really have no desire to see the movie.
Across Five Aprils | Oh my! Just a really good Civil War impact novel, brother against brother, life during the five years of the Civil War. We loved this novel. Oh, yeah this was also on our American Literature reading list - one I didn't mind reading aloud.
Unspoken | This is one of Dee Henderson's newer titles and somewhere along the way, maybe after her sabbatical, she has lost whatever it is that she had when she wrote The O'Malley's series and the Uncommon Valor series. Very disappointed in this book. I did enjoy the 'lesson' on coin selling, but it got old fast and it really had nothing to do with where she took the plot.
I have two books on my nightstand so to speak: The Lord of the Rings by none other than J.R.R. Tolkien and The Girls Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs, both are fabulous by the way. I am also going to pick up Kingdom Women by Tony Evans this month and in September J.D. Robb has another book in her In Death series that is due out. So, that is four more titles before I turn 50 and I'll just need to find 3 more new books.
For this 'make a page monday' I, again, kept it clean and simple. I struggled with the color of the text for the title and journal block and decided on white in the end. Black seemed too stark for the page. I used 'brushed' cardstock hoping to bring out the photos. I went for 'clean' lines, even on all sides and spaces. I am being challenged heavily by making pages with the clean and simple design approach.
This weeks Project Life is a little different. I used this blog post, Seven Degrees of Random to create a two-page Project Life spread; stories, from the past couple weeks, or a culmination of a story over a period of time.
I kept the pages clean. Simple. I used Cathy Zielske templates and Paislee Press templates. I am working with a few designers these days in an effort to streamline my pages, keeping them first and foremost simple.
Because I just don't have time.
Please ignore the wrong date stamp.
These random little vignettes needed to be told. It's a good idea to put them into Project Life, where I record those random bits of life anyway.
It is just broad strokes of life. Right now. Spread out over our 24-hour days which seem to run together. It is but for a season and I hope to see fresh days soon.
LatelyI have been haphazard about completing Project Life, and other projects to post on my blog. I haven't had the desire to complete them. I am in a creative ruck. I don't like this place because it has also meant I am taking fewer and fewer photos. Actually, that is a big part of my Project Life problem - few photos. I know there are solutions to completing weeks of project life like a broad brush stroke of ones everyday life: favorite foods, what we're watching, what moves us, etc... I'm really considering these directions but I've got to put a plan together...and get somewhat caught up.
"We will live lives of integrity on purpose or we will not live it at all." - Beth Moore. John, Jarrod, and I have begun studying the book of Daniel using the Bible Study by Beth Moore. This is the first book of the Bible we will study for this, their 11th grade school year. Each year since we have begun homeschooling we have included Bible into their studies whether through homeschool co-op or something we've done together at home. This year we are studying Daniel by Beth Moore, James by Beth Moore, and I'm considering Jesus, the One and Only by Beth Moore as well.
Our first week of our study in the book of Daniel showed us how Daniel and his three faithful cohorts resolved not to defile themselves. This led us to much discussion about character, and living a life of integrity on purpose.
I love my (our) truck. I have been driving the new truck regularly to work and around town since we had to trade in our very old van and I have found I love our truck. I love the size, the smooth ride, and since we got running boards getting up into it is super easy. It is white and sleek with sharp chrome features and just beautiful. In fact, Jeff and I have actually had the discussion recently about just getting a second (I mean third truck if we're counting Blue) newer truck and it will be that truck that Jeff will eventually be driving to and from job sites and I'll drive the Dodge regularly, while Blue becomes our at home work truck and the truck the boys will use when they begin driving lessons. All this is sounding just delightful.
We are watching NUMB3RS on NETFlix. When we picked up NETFlix just a couple months ago we began watching the Canadian television series, Flashpoint from Season 1 all the way through Season 5. Then, I found ALIAS and I was ecstatic. Years ago I watched Alias religiously, until the last two seasons when I allowed life to interrupt. Having forgotten most, if not all of the episodes we watched Alias from start to finish. I should interject here that I mostly watched all of the episodes and occasionally Jeff and Jarrod, but John preferred not to watch it. Now, after a couple of old movies never seen, like McClintock, which was fabulous by the way, and the Shadow Riders, and who doesn't love Tom Selleck, we are watching the television series, NUMB3RS. Once again, I've either forgotten all of the episodes or I missed them for one reason or another. The boys love the 'math' involved in the show and keeps them interested, especially the real-life examples that accompany the math equations. We are only on Season 2 so we have quite aways to go.
It looks like we finally have a viable Eagle project. Over a week ago Jarrod visited a local Engineering firm and interviewed with and presented his project to a structural engineer who was willing to donate his services to Jarrod's Eagle project. It was such a huge blessing after two previous disheartening, frustrating, failed interviews through no fault of Jarrod. But, with this firm willing to prepare drawings suitable for a building permit and a material list for the project we are ecstatic beyond measure. With these drawings and materials list, Jarrod can move fairly quickly forward with fund-raising, purchasing of materials, and scheduling dates for the build itself. So excited to see this project come to completion. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
We are reading the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R. Tolkien. It is the first of his trilogy we will be reading together this year for John and Jarrod's 11th Grade British Literature course, Lord of the Rings Literary Lessons by Homescholar. I will and have been reading this first novel aloud, chapter by chapter. The chapters are really long and reading them aloud means about an hour of reading time. Thus, my throat becomes extremely parched and I generally need to take a break before continuing, but, I am determined to keep the boys on track because it is an intensive year-long course but one I am confident they will reach to great heights. This first book, the Fellowship of the Ring, is already a fantastic read and we are engrossed in the illuminating text and visionary story.
Jeff is working long hours. In his new position as Assistant Superintendent (of building sites), Jeff goes into work by 7 am, with the understanding that he first has to make a 45 - 60 minute drive to the present job site. And lately he's been working well- passed closing hours because the current job is working behind schedule. But, I want to share that I am so proud of him and his approach to his new job. No shortcuts. While he might have been told a time or two that he doesn't have to say until the last man standing on the job he does for the safety and security of his company and I am proud of him. Does he miss time with the boys? Yes. Is he tired? Yes. But, he is working as working for the Lord and I am proud of him. We don't know when this will let up, hopefully after this week of work, plus weekend hours. But, he is so sure he is working at the job in the way the Lord would have him that I'm backing him 100% and we'll get by and get over this season of life.