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FOR TODAY –  January 16, 2012

Outside my window:  Gray skies and wind.  Little drifts of melting snow, here and there…promise of rain.

I am listening to:  the click and clack of the keyboard as hubby works from home.  Children in a variety of poses…one on a video game, one playing with a family of gummy bears doomed to die a gruesome death, one complaining of sore throat, another with of an odd rash…yes…doctor appointment at 3:00 p.m.

I am wearing :  faded denims, argyle socks, pink turtleneck and a zippered denim shirt.  Hair in a messy twist…lipstick.

Gratitude list:  my heart is full.  Filled to the brim.  How can I offer to our good God enough thanks and praise for all the blessings He so generously bestows upon this family?  Our Meredith is doing so much better.  She is stronger and happier than she was even last week…many of her challenges following the accident are diminishing.  She is still struggling tremendously with her hearing in her right ear.  I fear this may be permanent.  Her greatest challenges are more of a sensory nature.  She has extreme difficulty in processing sound changes…moving from a quiet automobile to a noisy restaurant is quite difficult.  She states that “all at once it sounds like all the noises are combined.  Voices, music and other noises all jumble together and I have to “separate” them.  It takes a little while to adjust, but I’m managing.”  Most importantly…she sounds happy.  The apathetic tone is gone, her disconnection seems to be resolving itself as well.  She still has healing to accomplish and there are always setbacks.  But I’m so very hopeful for her.  I pray, more than anything, that this experience grows her faith, her love, her gratitude for all the prayers and blessings she’s received as so many loved her through this ordeal.  Thank you…thank you…thank you for your many prayers and words of encouragement.  You have been faithful friends along this journey…you are in my prayers.

From the kitchen:  hot coffee and hot chocolate served throughout the day in my lovely new mugs.  Great big stoneware mugs that keep the coffee hot, hot, hot!  For dinner this evening:  two lovely chickens, stuffed with lemon and rosemary, roasted to perfection and served with mashed garlic and cheese potatoes, baked apples and a fresh, green salad.  Yum…

I am thinking:  about this quarter’s class load.  I’m struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of assignments, terms to memorize, quizzes and early exams, essays and research.  That 4.0 is very convicting…I want to preserve it, but feel I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  Psychology is really killer.  The problem with many online courses are that they are much, much harder than traditional classroom work.  I just can’t be away from home right now.  St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for me!

I am creating:  not creating.  Writing.  Papers.  Lots and lots of papers.  I really need a creative outlet, but so far, this is all there is.

Towards a real education:   Loving my new Kindle Fire and discovering that it is a great tool in the homeschool classroom.  My little ones love to use it to read.  I’m pleased with the ease of use and the fact that many of my college texts are available as ebooks.  Talk about a space saver!  Some of those texts weigh five pounds…

As for the rest of school.  Struggle to juggle.  If I’m keeping up with my studies, I feel like I’m cutting corners with their’s…if I do well with their studies, then I find I’m cutting corners with mine.  I’ve learned an important lesson.  I can’t do it all…I simply must take a lighter load next quarter or at least balance the type of classes I’m taking…

I am praying:  there are so many who need prayers right now.  But my heart is especially turned towards the upcoming election.  May God be merciful and not give us what we deserve, but we need.

In the garden:   The seed catalogs are here and hubby is making his list, checking it twice…plotting and planning for this year’s garden.  It’s nearly time to start our little seedlings.  Right now, I have a sweet little window box full of sprouting basil.  It’s quite pretty and the green shoots are full of the promise of spring…

Around the house:  Nativities that still need to be packed away.  Lots of scented candles.  Way too much laundry to put away.  But a lot less clutter, thanks to an early run this morning to the local thrift store….

On keeping home:  one dozen, thirty gallon trash bags full of old clothes and shoes dropped off at our local thrift store.  The entire back of the Expedition was filled.  As I said to my oldest son:  “That’s how much space we’ve saved in our home!”  It feels good to purge…this is just the beginning.  I’m starting the 40 Bag Challenge early!

One of my favorite things: technology that gives us an endless resource of reading, crafting and communication outlets.  The internet can be a serious problem when not used judiciously, but it is an absolute blessing in the life of this home educator, student, crafter, chef and mom…

A few plans for the rest of the week:  reading, de-cluttering, studying, teaching…and a lot of praying!  And thanking.  And praising.  God is good…all of the time!

A picture thought I’m sharing:

Christmas zipped past us…but here’s one of my favorite light-hearted moments with my two girlies playing dress up with their favorite ornaments…