Monday, January 30, 2012

It seemed like measureable success.

Whew!  What a day.
Quite a good day if I say so myself, but I'm just wondering how it's 10:30 at night already!
I'm in the throes of revamping the school-day agenda.  We don't use a scheduled curriculum,
so I usually focus on several subjects for a portion of time (weeks/months) and then
transition to some others.  We do Bible reading together and our three R's every day, but may
work on social studies or the sciences by turns. 

It so happens that family life is ever-changing.  It is dynamic.  It is seasonal.
There are seasons in which I get more sleep; there are seasons I muddle through morning sickness.
There are seasons where I plan and make all the meals; and seasons where one of my children/students
take over breakfast prep and little brother feeding so I can feed the baby.  Or shower.
Sometimes there are even seasons when I shower and get dressed before noon! 

Life requires some flexibility.  If we can't roll with the punches, we teach our children something
untrue:  that we are for the system
I want them to understand that the system is there for us.   
Our schedule, our lists, our lessons, and chapters are serving us and we use them to benefit our
quest for knowledge, for skill, and most importantly for the shaping of good character.
I find there are a lot of character lessons to be learned in the flexible moments we experience!                                                              
So today I tweak.  Again.  Still.  What is working?  Sometimes what is not working is a longer list...
or feels like it... or I need to look harder - maybe in another corner where success is hiding modestly
under the cloak of a victorious heart lesson.
Maybe even my heart.

What bliss is the day that runs like clockwork!  Your people are dressed before reading commences,
 you actually ate something yourself before that time.  And fed the baby (never mind the shower - that
can come later).  Your people remembered their chores, and even remembered to wipe little brother's
sticky hands before setting him on the loose! 
The day when you planned ahead enough.  When your dinner was already simmering on the stove at
noon, and the ones who were doing personal homework were (wonder of wonders) not distracting
each other!  The little ones were even playing sweetly.

Why isn't this the day your nosy neighbors drops by.  Or your mother-in-law.  Why?!!  This is that
"perfect" day for showing everyone you . can . do it!

Ahhhh me.

Remind me to savor it, because I'm going to need a strong dose of recollection when tomorrow comes.
One thing pretty dependable is that days like that don't come two in a row.
But opportunity for my character to be stretched?... probably just around the corner. ;-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I can't take much credit, but we've been growing a successful crop of Icicles around here.
We got some heavy snow days last week, and this week has been warm.  Because of that,
the snow is slowly melting off the roof and freezing again; melting, then freezing.
That melt/freeze process sure creates some beauty!

These are from inside the house:

You've heard of Ice Fishing?  Well here we have Ice Hunting.  And that's not hunting FOR ice.
That's hunting WITH ice as your weapon!

We had a few days of dangerous-looking cicles as they grew ominously long, and told the Bugletts not
to play under the eves.  Then they came down.
It was quite an avalanche when the roof finally let them go. We watched from within the quaking house!

As children raised in a river valley, my love and I never experienced living in the snow.
Imagining it would be frigid, uncomfortable, and complicated, we worried how we'd
fare with a brood of small hoodlums during North Idaho winters.
Having now weathered two snowy seasons we've come to some conclusions
on the matter:

1) Good quality snow clothes and foot gear beat bread bag covered
     tennis shoes held in place with rubber bands.  
     (no disrespect meant to my folks who gave us memories in the occasional mountain 
     snows despite the budget gear we were outfitted in)

2) Not having anywhere we have to be, or a time we have to be there by, reduces complexity
     a zillion-fold.  It also makes for cozy days/evenings at home not worrying about how many
     inches accumulate.

3)  In the event that we need to get to town, 4 Wheel Drive and studded tires are where it's at.

4)  We're not in a hurry to have animals that need feeding, mucking, milking, or egg-collecting.
      (It's still cold - even if it's not dreary!)

5)  Snow is beautiful.  It's clean, white, bright, and lovely.  It's much more pleasant to spend a
     winter in than bone-chilling wind,  icy hand-numbing rain, gray skies and muddy brown    
   landscapes.  I don't know why we didn't try it before now.  We're sold!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What Memories are Made of

Beautiful BEAUTIFUL Weekend!

I'm a sucker for weekends that are different from the rest of the week.
And that would infer a pretty special day or two since the weekdays are
hard to beat!
Today... sleeping in, then staying toasty in bed as long as we like, followed
by a hot shower, omelet, and then going out to play in the snow together!

It's a lot of time and effort to suite up this many people in snow clothes, then
add to that a thermos of Apple Cider and a bag of Popcorn, stuffing babies into
backpacks, and strapping on several pair of snowshoes, and I bet we took an
hour at least.  Cross your fingers that no one needs to go potty after we get to
that point!

Up the hill we went, to Uncle Char and Auntie Hannah's - they really do have
the best sledding hills.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  Mmm-Mhm!
It was a perfect weekend day!

Unsung Heros of Marvel Hill

This is one of our neighbors.
He arrived unannounced and without fanfare. Just before I was really going to need him.

What is he doing?

He is blowing foot-deep snow from behind my truck because he is the kind of guy who takes care of his
neighbors.  He thought AJ hadn't made it home yet (from out of town), and thought our driveway looked impassable.
It probably was.  I wasn't sure if I was going to get out - even in four wheel drive -
to fetch my man coming in from the airport.

Did God know what my need was before I knew I'd be desperate?
Did He answer my as-yet un-prayed request for assistance?
Why did my heroic neighbor show up without asking an hour before I needed to leave the house?

Of course God knew, and He answered my prayer (as-yet un-prayed) with a yes.
YES Daughter I'll send you the help you need.  You don't even have to ask - not Me. Not even him.

My neighbor came because my Lord loves me.:-)

Where I HAD been parked.

One other fellow who blessed the socks off me:

Thanks Buddy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Operating Scissors Is No Small Task

And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stuff and Things

Spice of Life

1)   "Bella Peppers" and "Cal-girls"  will be missed when Bell Peppers and Cowgirls are discovered.

2)   The only thing I've found to dislike about snow is the amount of wet clothes, gloves, and hats
       it produces and which consume every toasty inch in front of my wood stove.
      (like how I said that - my wood stove.)

3)   Do you ever plan to sip something hot, but keep putting it off until...
      that diaper is changed, fire stoked, face wiped, chore delegated, ponytail brushed, shower taken,
      reading commenced, wet hair combed, bottle warmed, sippy cup filled, toast buttered, sandwich made,
      call returned, copy work assigned, story read, counter wiped, baby cuddled, water reheated...
      I do.
      It happens to me pretty much every day.

4)   I waffle between pulling my hair out, and chuckling when I see URGENT spelled correctly on one line,
      then not being able to decipher it on the next.  ERJNT.
      Supposedly it is not to late for a ten year old to learn how to spell.
      It is not an "erjnt" matter at this time.

5)   However much I miss my man when he travels, I love to make meatloaf and butternut squash
      when he's gone. 
      I love it even more that 6 other people enjoy eating it with me.
      I love it best when he's back home, and I still have leftover meatloaf for my lunch!

6)   I hope the little guy never outgrows:
     "You're Lel-come"
     "I love you mom"

     "You're my precious mommy"  He really-truly said that to me.

7)   It would appear that 7-9 hours of sleep is now a reality in my life.  I don't believe in jinxes, so I won't
      knock on wood.  However, I sure hope my body gets used to sleep again because right now it is
      not happy Bob. Not happy.  It's been running on fumes long enough to think it needs a few months worth
      of 9 hour nights before it catches up.
      I'm working on that.

8)  Quiet is good company.
      So is a house-rattling stampede and riotous laughter.
      Particularly if enjoyed after schoolwork and chores, and especially when followed by quiet.

9)   There used to be days in which morning hours dragged on.
      Then there were days in which evening hours dragged on.
      Now there are no hours that drag.  Not a one.
      How come nap hours never drag on?

10)  If the hours don't drag on
       and there's riotous laughter coming from the stampede upstairs
       and my tiredness means I'm actually getting more sleep...
       If my children are learning, and their learning makes me chuckle
       and the wet clothes mean they get out in the snow...
       If meatloaf is for dinner, and if Bryce thinks I am precious
       if coffee, tea, or chocolate is had for sipping - hot or cold...
       Then I'll relish Bella Peppers, Cal-girls, chubby babies,
       glowing wood stove, books for reading, silly spelling,
       and my handsome Honey who comes home.



And that's what putters along in my brain after all the bugletts have gone to bed. 

Today there were moments better forgotten as well, but they aren't worth the mention.
Besides, I like to remember my life like this - it's pretty wonderful!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It hardly gets better than this!

We had the privilege of friends who wanted to share a week of our lives recently.
They braved the winter and ice - for there hadn't been a fresh snow in many days,
but ice we had in abundance.
They mastered use of the cabin heater
and hunkered down under blankets when it was necessary.  
Tromp back and forth from cabin to house they did, to join us for life, and tea, and generous portions of 
fellowship spiced with conversation in all it's colorful hues.  Then tromped back again
to the guest quarters to nap, to rest, to silence,
and perhaps escape from our gusto for a while.

How rich we are.  How blessed in our friendships.  How thankful.
In these interactions, these days and moments, we are reminded that 
this truly is 
 a little piece of Heaven.


Marvel Hill Wonderland

We wondered when the winter would come.
It has.

Oh to be cozied in with fire-warmth and hot tea!  Even school is an inspiration when we can wrap
ourselves in blankets while we read together.  The snow started up yesterday evening, and is adding inches
as I sit here typing.  The boys completed their assignments in double-time so they could get out and
"dig paths" in the deep powder. My littlest ones are supposed to be napping.  They were sleepy today
and I reminded them to look out their windows at the treetops bowed over, and count the falling flakes.
It's a mesmerizing business looking up into a sky of flurrying whiteness!

What are we looking at here, rip-roaring fire? Or the face in front of it all?
Now that's a silly question!

Red Rooibos Red Roobos, might I love you so well?  Possibly if blended with hints of Vanilla... mmm...

 Snow shoes on the guest cabin deck
behind the falling snow, and awaiting to trod out new adventure!

Hell-Oooo Unc!

Anyway, all this to say:  "Quite nice" and to show you why I think so.
Yes, quite nice indeed.