Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pondering Thoughts of Sept

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." - Unknown
       Gazing Outside my window of our bedroom you first notice a strip of woods with a hiking sidewalk trail. Occasionally, you will see families take strolls and hear the laughter of children mixed with frogs and cricket sounds.  Right now though, if you gazed out, you would probably smile like I am.  There is a black lab walking his owner! The bright blue leash is pulled tight with the dog infront.  And, the young military man is dressed in black shorts and shirt with a rucksack on his back.  It is a familiar site in my neighborhood, one in which bring patriotic feelings of being proud and a sweet protective calmness.
     The sky is very blue with white streaks of clouds today. And, recently a military plane flew over the top of the pine trees while their branches were swinging gently in the wind.   The plane sounded like one that has 4 engines. Not positive because I am still developing my airplane ears. But, my guess would probably be a C 17?  
      The temperatures are in the low 80s and high 70s. It is fall here but the trees are not turning colors.   And, the homes in our area haven’t yet brought out the fall d├ęcor. Regardless, I am anticipating the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon apple candles.    

           I am thinking about the State Fair that is coming up in a few weeks. We didn’t have the opportunity to do any projects this year.  However, I am planning on having the children work on a lego, recycle, sewing and leather project for next year.   We did take advantage of their essay competition this year. So, in the learning room, the Little Ones did write small essays. The Little Man’s essay was to be 40 words. The subject was to be on “Why should your favorite state fair animal win a blue ribbon?”  He wrote his essay on a rabbit. We have no idea where the rabbit theme comes from but I can only assume he picked it out of a hat?!  The Little Ladies age group had to write an essay of 150 words. The essay was to be on how competitions today at the state fair show an everyday task of yester year.  Of course, she wrote her essay on horse competitions that are timed.  She tied the timed events of jumping fences and racing against the clock with the Pony Express.   (We have a Pony Express book that she read recently so that is where she got that idea from.) It was great for them to do the exercise.  

          What else is going on in the learning room?   I want to see how the Children respond to more living books in a wide range of subjects such as math literature (stories about multiplying and adding) and books on english. (verbs, Adverbs, and idioms) This won’t be a surprised to you, I am sure.  I set a goal to have the kiddos read 50 books for the month of September.   We picked up a few library books (about 20) but mostly I wanted to make sure that some of our own library books were revisited.   It appears that the children enjoyed it. So, I think we will do 50 more books for the month of October too. It expanded their horizons and they picked up books that they typically would not be exposed to.  

         I am wearing exercising cloths today.  I never did get into my house dress.  And, I must say that it is probably not a good thing that I stayed in them today, after having a baby the exercising clothes are not looking extremely flattering!   But, if I don’t put them on then I don’t consciously make the effort to get on the DREADmill – I mean treadmill.  So, with the Riverdance Music cranked up high, my pony tail swishing, and my thighs burning, I come off of it hot and sweaty and wishing that the treadmill would stop saying that my 20 minutes work with a speed of 3.0 only comes out to equal a mile.  Honestly, it seems a lot more than just the plain ole 90 calories burned.  (sigh) It is all the time I can carve out of my day and even that is proving to be difficult.  Oh, if my “busy” activities during the day would translate to calories burned.

      From the kitchen comes forth some very simple meals! Beloved is on a business trip and I have chosen easy prep and leftovers!  We started off this morning with fruit for breakfast.   Lunch was peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches with chips.  The Little Ones tummies have an inner clock that rings loudly at 3pm that it is time for a snack.  So, the aroma of chocolate chip cookies filled the air.  Tonight, I will extend the simple kitchen day by having macaroni and cheese, sweet corn, and chicken wings with a big ole blop of ranch dressing!  Definitely not healthy but Military Mom’s have those standby days of “survivor” food – and this is just one of those days.

        Speaking of food, one day, I was the last woman in line before the young men of the Church went through the food line. I had already been through with both the girls and the boys.  So, I was just taking a little breather and gathering my thoughts.  It was at this time, that I heard one of the Pastor’s sons say, “There is never enough meat!”  And, then one of the other young men quickly elbowed him in the stomach and said, “You better behave.”  I pretended not to hear but it was funny as I watched all the others just laugh as if it was an inside joke. Then, weeks later another scenario happened. But, it was over the gratefulness of me bringing 4 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts but not putting out 2 dozen until the men started to go through the line.  More scenarios have played out over many months and each time I told Beloved.   Over these weeks, I realized that there were always a lot of casseroles and that the food was pretty slim by the time the last man got through the line.  I remarked on it to Beloved.  Finally, Beloved enlightened me! He said, “Carmen.  Young Men have two food groups.  Meat!  And, Desserts! And, there is never enough items in those categories to fill them up!”   Then, through a discussion, Beloved said I should extended a blessing by keeping within these categories for Sunday’s Dinner.  Since then, Beloved and I have laughed over a few comments.  1) I have had several whispers from Children about bringing more sprinkled donuts.  2) The little girls of the church think that it is a secret who brings the donuts because they can’t figure out who does it since we are typically one of the first ones to Church.  3) A young man told me that he liked my ham. And, I said, “Thanks. You must tell Beloved because I am only allowed to bring meat and donuts.”  He went off to tell Beloved and said to him, “Whatever you are having her to do, keep her doing it!”  4) One of the older men went around trying to find who brought the BBQ. He was told by some of the young men.  Then, he came up and said to me, “It should be the church mandate to bring meat and desserts!”      Apparently, word has gotten around!   A military friend was standing beside me and she said, “What is all that about?”  So, I told her. She told her husband apparently because the next Sunday she whispered to me.  “I brought meat loaf and now my husband says I am to focus on the same thing.”  I laughed! 
So far, I have taken smoked turkey, honey ham, bbq, chicken wings, and Krispy Kreme Donuts . I guess brisket and roast will eventually be taken too. It looks like I won’t be perfecting my side dish recipes after all!

     The Daily Journal Entry line  that I follow to do this pondering thought post says to write about “Thinking Thrifty.” It gave me a smile when I thought about the Little Man.  He is the money man around here. He doesn’t think Thrifty necessarily but he does think about money!  He can go into a store and comes out with a small handful of pocket change almost every time.  He can finds it almost anywhere.  The Child  is always so disappointed if we are at a stop light or a drive-thru knowing that if he finds money on the road from his car seat, we are not going to allow him to get it.  He knows that it is too dangerous to get the coins but nevertheless he is still annoyed by it.  However, about a week ago, we stopped at our usual stop light where the Little Man always tells us that he sees at least 3 pennies.  In the past, Beloved told him that if there was not a lot of traffic and no one was behind us, one day we will open the car door, step out and get the pennies.  That day finally came!  Oh, the things you do for your Children.  I was in my Sunday dress with no shoes on when Beloved put it in park and said, “Get the Pennies”.  I am sure I looked ridiculous but we are now 3 pennies richer. The moral of the story? Thinking Thrifty some times means not spending money at all.

      One of my favorite things this week is sweet smelly baby feet.  The Little Gentleman and I get such a kick out of giving little kisses to the Little Lass’ feet because she gets so tickled by it. And, he always teases me that he wants me to smell his feet.  I always say, "No way! The older the feet the stinker they smell." I don't know that the statement is true but it sounds about right!

       As I look at some of my favorite blogs, I noticed that I gravitate toward the blogs that show homemaking pictures almost every day.  Such simple beauty!  I adore the thought of all those little home making touches. I admit those seasonal decorating post gets me every time!  Oh, to be able to blog about lots of seasonal decor.  And the pictures! Eye Candy, I tell ya. So what do I like? Well, I marval at their luscious fruit bowls pictures.  
(....because you can often find an apple at my house with a bite taken out of it!) 
Georgeous kitchen flowers on the table. 
 (....because it is a risk in this house when I do have them around. Dakota the cat, likes to eat the leaves and I am always concerned that he will  knocked over the vase.) 
Sewing projects almost weekly.
(...because I am not in the position of sewing for myself. Everything I do has to be within the time frame of passing on the skills to my children.)  
Pretty Painted Ornaments. 
 (...because when the paint comes out here, I have to monitor it and resupply the 3 feet tall artists in the house.) 
Yes, oh, to have a blog with eye-candy photos!  Oh, I am silly, I know!  It doesn't take long for me to talk myself back into reality after I look around at my house.   I don't have the storage for all that seasonal stuff. Although, I have a little bit of seasonal decor.    I also like to keep my house simply decorated -- less clutter to dust!  And, then I think to myself, "I bet it cost a lot of money!" 
Here in my little blog world, you have to look at the pictures more closely to find the beauty.  
It is often hidden! For example, I saw a picture recently of a living room floor covered with legos.  The caption read, "Home Security System!" It made me laugh. Yep! The blessing? Little Lego hands with hours of building and not having the expence on a security alarm!

         What am I currently reading? I just finished reading two manuscripts from a best selling author.  How do I know a best selling author? Well,  as a child I went to Church Summer camp every year. It was at these camps that I made some really great friends.  One friend that I met was a girl named Laura. We couldn’t have been more than 10 or so when we first met.  She was a quiet, little blond girl who was a Pastor’s Kid.  She lived in Alaska down near the Islands.  I lived up in the middle of the state.  We became fast friends and wrote letters often.  She always sent fantastic letters with her envelops all decked out with art!  It was so fun to receive mail from her.  She was a talented artist.  I can’t say I noticed her writing skills at this time though. But, during our College years, we both went to a Christian School affiliated within our denomination in Florida.  We became roommates.  And, it was there that she wrote lots of stories for her English class.  One story was a hilarious horror story about her roommate!  To this day, she says it wasn’t about me!   Years later, we both got married and had children and life kept the letters sporadic.  However, on one of our trips out West, she found out that we were going to be ONLY 6 hours away. So, what did she do? She drove to see me. No Kidding. She drove 6 hours to meet up with my Family while we were camping through a state that she didn’t even live in.  Beloved is always amazed at my loyal and crazy friends from my past!   Today,  Laura,  is an English  teacher, but she also writes  Novels under a secret name.  She also co-authors Christian books and is a best seller in the Christian Novel genre.  She keeps telling me I need to write a book. (Her and several others)   I just laugh.  She asked if I wanted to co-author a book with her last year.   No way!  I would like to keep her as a friend!  I sort of like how things are right now.  Although, I tease and say, " I would need a good editor!"  She keeps saying, “She edits on the side too.”   Meanwhile, she sends me her manuscripts before they go to the final book editor to print.   My sole job is to be her cheerleader.   It’s a win –win!  I get to read her books for free in exchange for me to give her claps, whistles, elaborate adjectives in describing what I liked with lots of pats on her back.    She allows herself to bask in the glory of all my positive feedback.  It works.  Today, she upped the free price of reading her manuscripts. She now wants me to do Amazon reviews for her. She wants to keep 5 stars on her book list. She cracks me up.  

       I am hoping that I can remember these words from another blogger.  “ Deuteronomy 6 (see especially vs 7) that while the Lord commands parent’s to teach their children about him – it is recognized that they won’t always “get it” the first time.  Deut 6:20 says, “And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statues, and the judgments, which the Lord or God hath commanded you?”   This is *after*  you have already been teaching them diligently in the first place!!!  The reaction to this shocking news that they “kids” still don’t’ get it? It is to just  keep continually patiently teaching.  (vs 21) “Then thou shalt say until they son…”  ----- And you do the whole lesson over again. “

       This line of thought about training children tied into what I am Pondering this week from a sermon that I heard!  “GOD  INTENDS TO EXPAND HIS KINGDOM THROUGH THE CHILDREN YOU ARE TEACHING!”  Wow.   Lord, Give me a greater vision in understanding this statement.  Equipment me, expand my teaching even deeper as I teach them about You through Your Word, with singing, a commitment to the local Church body, discipleship, prayer and letting them see me witnessing.   (And, because sweet friends you are always asking me for the link to sermons that I listen to.  Here You Go. This is the one I just finished.)    


  1. I know you probably think this felt like rambling but I really enjoyed it :-) Made me want a nice hot cup of coffee as I read -like sitting and catching up.

  2. This is a very sweet post, Carmen.

  3. Heehee! I do, Katie! You know me well. I feel like it is rambling on... and on... and on! I hate doing them because they make me open up and my thoughts feel all exposed! (giggle) Exposure -Totally against the Special Ops thumb print that I have on me. But, aren't you proud of me for trying?!

  4. Hello Carmen,

    So sweet of you to tip toe into our blog last night :-) What a sweet family you have and a lovely blog. I enjoyed reading about your learning room and what is stirring around at your house.

    Seasonal blogs...oh yes I love to see other blog that show what they are making and how they are decorating for fall. So fun and encouraging.

    Hope to see you again.


  5. I so loved loved loved reading this post! :) Who needs pretty pictures with all that word candy;)


Your comments are a gift to me and they warm my heart. I read and treasure every one. If you leave a comment, I will visit you as well. ~ Carmen