Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Magic of Ordinary Days

My friend Kristen blogged about this Hallmark movie here. I haven't watched a Hallmark movie for years. I decided to read the book first. The book was a fast read and I enjoyed it. I decided to go ahead and get the movie from the library.

I don't want to spoil the book or the movie, but I will admit that there was a part towards the end of the book that was not believable to me-I don't think the history part of this could have happened. I wish the author would have left that part out and just stuck with the main story.

I was pleasantly surprised how the movie dealt with this part of the story. The movie dealt with it in a way that I thought could have happened. The history still wasn't perfect, but it was more believable than the book. Here is an example of a movie that I thought was better than the book.

Recently I have been really disgusted with movies. They either get the theology wrong or the history wrong or don't stick to the story the way that the author wrote it in the book. This was a movie that I didn't have a problem with the theology. The main male character definitely understood and followed through on his vocation as a husband and father. The female character was a pastor's daughter, but it took the whole movie for her to catch on to her vocation as wife and mother. I was amazed how closely the movie stayed to the book (with the exception of the part mentioned above).

I highly recommend The Magic of Ordinary Days movie.  I am also going to see what other books the author wrote.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Picture proof of progress

Ram brought a couple more file drawers home yesterday. While I worked on organizing periodicals, he had a bunch of binders that he went through. Most of these were from his time at the Seminary, and some were also spiral bound handouts from professors. He found an entire binder of blank lined paper and the Lambs were thrilled to each get a "new" binder with paper out of the project. He saved a couple of papers out of the binders but all the rest went in recycling. The most frustrating part of this is I have been complaining how expensive binders are now. I could have used those binders for organizing Sunday School materials at church and for organizing homeschool materials. We threw out the worst binders and kept the rest to either use or donate. Here's one more example of decluttering not only gives you more space, but it saves you money.
I recycled some magazines, but this picture is just what Ram did in one day.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Not a teenager yet...

Lamb 1 will be 12 in two weeks. He made the menu for the meals on his birthday. I love that I tell him to make a menu and I don't have to help him make it. This is the menu he brought to me:

Breakfast: Double or triple batch of French toast.
Lunch: Triple batch tuna pasta salad
Snack: 3 Chicago Mix popcorn (Costco size)
Supper: Triple batch of Mexican Skillet
Dessert: Use the biggest cake pan you have-vanilla cake with blue icing
Treats for church: Triple batch of vanilla cupcakes, triple batch of homemade donuts, and triple batch of cinnamon chip cookies.

Obviously he is not going to get a triple batch of all of this, although I wouldn't have to cook for awhile, well not for a few days...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Family Update

  • Ram and I both had dentist appointments today. Ram's report was ok, but he needs to be better about flossing. My report was not good, I need fillings on both sides of my mouth. They think we were so concerned about my root canal last year that they missed these tiny cavities. They said it is time for prescription toothpaste since I have these unexplainable need for fillings now and root canals last year. They stressed it had nothing to do with brushing and flossing, more likely it is hormones. I really think all my pregnancies have caught up with my teeth and that is the reason. I am also going to give coconut oil pulling a try to see if it helps any. I've thought about oil pulling, but now I have more motivation.
  • Ram and I both went to the chiropractor today. I feel so much better after all this work with books-both lifting boxes of books and sitting typing the catalog.
  • The Lamb with a rash that we thought was eczema had to go back to the doctor because his rash did not improve after a month. The doctor had a student, physician assistant, and another doctor all look at the rash to make sure that he wasn't misdiagnosing it. He thought it might be Fifth disease but this Lamb already had that plus he had no other symptoms. It baffles the doctors because he didn't have a fever or any other symptoms that would tell them what it is. They still think it is extreme eczema. We are trying two new prescriptions and will return to the doctor in a month. If it still doesn't improve by then we will need to go to a dermatologist. That Dr. visit was frustrating and took a long time.
  • We finished the bookcases in Ram's office, but before I celebrated completion, Ram brought home the contents of one file cabinet drawer. I spent a long time organizing the "What about..." pamphlets and other reports by the LCMS that have been sent to pastors since the 1970s. Ram threw out some of his notes from when he studied in England. I thought that we were going to organize periodicals like Lutheran Witness that were in his file cabinets. I didn't even know I had to organize all this other stuff. We discovered several duplicates since Ram and I are both on the official roster. It is worth working on the file cabinets and passing on duplicate copies to others. 
  • Lamb 1 worked on his birthday wish list tonight. Yikes, 2 weeks from tomorrow! I do not feel ready for birthday season. (All the Lambs and Ram have spring birthdays.) I need to get my plans together. I also need to prepare myself for my last year before there is a teenager in our house!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Random thoughts from a librarian

We are currently working on the last bookcase in Ram's office. I do have a few boxes of books (that don't fit on the bookcases) here at home that are not done. Other than that every book in our house and Ram's office at church will be cataloged when we finish this bookcase. We are over 7000 books, but we gave so many away that I don't think we will make it to 8000 when we complete this project.

Many of the books in Ram's church office came from both sides of the family. I was struck by both of my grandpas always wrote in their books-their name and when they received the book. Many of my dad's dad's books said Christmas with the year. Some of my mom's dad's were a gift from the church he was serving as pastor. Some of Ram's Great-Uncle's books were a gift from his wife. It's amazing to me that books with a date like 12-34 are still in great condition. I think of all the places those books have lived since then and it is even more amazing!

Ram wrote in the front of some of his books which Seminary class and the date. But neither Ram or I have written in the front of our books more than those that were his at the Seminary. I didn't even write my name in my books when I was in college. I did try to write in the front of books that the Lambs received from their godparents.

It is so interesting to me to know a little history behind the books that I inherited.  So often during this project I would ask Ram where he got a book and he would answer, "Probably at Goodwill in MN or at a library book sale, I really don't remember." It would be really interesting if we knew where our books came from. From this time forward, I am going to try to write a little information when I receive new books.  Also when I buy books with birthday money or something like that I want to record that too.

But I will continue to write in pencil just like I record the Dewey number in pencil. That is for both practical reasons and archival reasons. If I replace the book that I bought at the library book sale with a better copy, I want to be able to pass on the old copy without my name in it. I also think pencil in the book would be better than ink to last. If you gift my boys or me a book, you should write in the front of the book with pencil.

Once we finish this project, we will add to our catalog each time we receive a new book. This will mean a big project after we get home from a library book sale and after Ram's birthday and times like that. But it will be manageable to add to the list at that point.

Monday, February 15, 2016

To Do List Update

  • Tax paperwork is ready to submit to our tax preparer. This year seemed extra difficult-there were problems with our paycheck company information, health savings account information, etc. I am so thankful for our church treasurer and her help for all this bookkeeping! I am still determined to organize the 2015 paperwork for taxes now, but that is not finished yet.
  • Ram and I began cataloging the last two bookcases in his office. These are large bookcases, but we can see the end in sight. Our catalog list is now over 7000 books in our home/his church office.
  • I began going through more of my teaching files. I have completed 7 out of 12 file cabinet drawers. When this project is completed there will be some empty drawers and none of the drawers will be packed full.
  • We finished reading the book for February for library family book club. We are beginning to read the book for Lamb 2's book club. We read the books as family read alouds.
  • Now that taxes are done and the end is in sight for cataloging Ram's books, I am starting to come up with a plan of what to declutter at home next. I love seeing declutter progress!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Stonesetters Part 2

The Stonesetters schedule went like this on January 22.

8:30am Bill mixer game-The students had to ask as many other students what their bill was and the name of their pet and write down their information on a list with all the students names. These were turned in and the students that had the most signatures won a small prize. Lamb 1 and 2 went around together and it really slowed Lamb 1 down because Lamb 2 needed help to spell all the pets names. I tried to help Lamb 2 but he didn't want my help as much as he wanted Lamb 1's help. They didn't get information from very many students.  They will understand how this works better next year and also probably go separately. It was also disappointing for the Lambs to answer each time that they don't have any pets. Even our goldfish died.

9:00am Speaker Etiquette-The students were taught proper addressing. Stand up each time you address the floor and say, "Madame Speaker and Ladies and Gentlemen of the House"...and when finished speaking, "Thank you Madame Speaker and Ladies and Gentlemen of the House." It took correction from the parents but after a few times almost all the students had the pattern down.
Senator Johnson spoke to us. She said that Stonesetters was designed to train up these students so some day we will have more Christians in the Statehouse.

9:15am Bill skit-The older students put on a skit to explain how a bill works when it is proposed. It was clever and a good way to teach this concept.

9:45am The House Majority Leader spoke to us. He told us that he thinks Idaho is the best place to live. He ran for office because he hates taxes. Stonesetters presented him with a Ten Commandments plaque to put in his office to thank him for his help with Stonesetters and his Christian example at the Capitol.

10am We split in to two groups and we began debating our bills. Proper speaker etiquette was expected. Both parents and students were welcome to debate the other students bills. I will talk about how Lamb 1 and 2's bills went in a separate post. We ate our sack lunches that we brought with us during the debate.

12:30pm Each student was presented a certificate and received their bill signed by the clerk with passed or not passed on it.

1pm-3pm We had a complete tour of the capitol. Representative Moyle invited us on to the House floor. We were allowed to take turns sitting in the Speaker's chair. In several places at the capitol members of the legislature met us and told us what happens in those rooms. It was very interesting, but the Lambs thought it was too long.

3:15 We met with one of our representatives, Representative Holtzclaw. A few other students that were in his district met with him at the same time.

3:30 Ram and Lamb 3 met us and we went out to eat.

There were no breaks and the day went very quickly for me, but the Lambs thought it was long. They had a ton to fit in the one day that we were there. I am thankful the Lambs had this opportunity. I hope that all three Lambs are able to participate next year.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Productive Book Shopping

Ram and I have continued to work on organizing his theology library. Today we took 6 boxes to the used bookstore and they bought 5 boxes worth. The last few times Ram traded books he bought a few books but we still had $140 left in credit. Today we got $75 more credit. We both found a few a lot of good finds to buy today.
Air is all around you: Cheap science book

Cubby in Wonderland and Cubby Returns: When we lived in MN I checked out a Cubby book from the library. When we moved here our library system did not have these books. They are about a bear in the National Parks. I have looked for this series in used bookstores for the last 5+ years. Cubby in Wonderland was in great shape, Cubby Returns had some damage. But I bought both because I have not seen them at used bookstores. I will continue to look for Cubby Returns to replace this damaged copy. Total for both was $24 which I considered worth it.

Child's Geography of the World by Hillyer: I thought a long time before purchasing this one because it was $35. We began reading a Child's History of the World and I thought this book would also be good to read. I think it is out of print. I know some of the information will be out of date. I will probably read it myself instead of reading it to the boys. When I got home I discovered it goes for $50-150 on Amazon. I figured if I didn't like it I could always resell it to the used bookstore.

Star Wars: Right when we walked into the bookstore Lamb 2 saw this book and requested it. It was $10, but we didn't own it yet and we had plenty of credit. I was happy to treat Lamb 2 to a book he wanted.

History of the English Speaking Peoples vol. 3 by Churchill: When we organized our library Ram realized that he had vol. 1 and 2, but not vol. 3 and 4 of this set. We were both happy to get another volume and know there is only one more volume to find at a used bookstore.

The other books in the middle are books that Ram chose. Some have been on his wish list for awhile.

Freddy the Pig Anniversary Collection: One of the Loopers introduced us to Freddy books probably about 8 years ago. We have checked some out of the library, but we only owned one before today. This collection had 3 Freddy books, unfortunately one of those is the one that we already owned. But I thought it was worth $17 to get 2 more Freddy books. I will either pass on the one Freddy book we have to a friend or sell it to the used bookstore.

The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame: I received Dream Days as a Christmas present. Before that the only book I knew by Grahame was Wind and the Willows. When I was reading the introduction I found out Golden Age comes before Dream Days. So I decided to get this book to add to our collection.

Landmark Books: The Loopers recently discussed how great Landmark Books are. There was a great big section of Landmark Books. I chose 4 that I thought would be interesting to the Lambs. I chose-
The Man Who Changed China the Story of Sun Yat-Sen,
Louisiana Purchase,
and Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized only one was world history, the other 3 were American History.
The Ethan Allen one was interesting to me because there was a typed (copied) letter from the author inside the cover. I wonder if all the Landmark books came with a letter like this?
We did have one other Landmark book, Winston Churchill, but it went in the giveaway pile a few months ago. I didn't see it today at the bookstore. We are unsure if it went to the bookstore or donated. Oh well. So the grand total of Landmark books that we own is 4-all purchased today. We'll see if we like these and perhaps get more next time with our credit.

When it came time to pay use our credit, there was an older man and a younger man working. It confused the older man that we had $140 credit from before plus we got $75 more today. Thankfully the younger man was there to help him figure it out. I was concerned that he was going to get cheated out of some money after he had been so kind to buy so many of our books. But it all got settled and we have about $25 credit left after today. So all these great finds were free to us today and we still have some credit left.

We had debated getting a babysitter to go out to the bookstore together. I knew it would take a long time to look. We ended up all going together. The Lambs were remarkably well behaved the whole time we were there. Lamb 2 was happy to hear at the beginning that he was going to get a book. The other two didn't ask for anything. Afterwards we went to Costco for a few items and the Lambs had a bunch of chocolate samples. We treated them to smoothies at Costco since they were so well behaved at the bookstore. I was glad we saved the money of a babysitter.

I was amazed at how the timing of everything worked today. I did some shopping this morning and Ram did some errands this afternoon. Then we all went to the bookstore. We finished at the bookstore at 5:32 and they closed at 5:30. (We would have been done earlier if it paying hadn't been so confusing.) We still made it in time to Costco to get some samples. We came home and ate supper and the Lambs had a little time to play before bedtime.

We can see the end of our library cataloging project. Ram has two large bookshelves in his office that we still need to do. We are expecting him to want to keep most of what is on those bookshelves that are left. But there may be a few more books from that section to sell to the used bookstore. I love that we got rid of 20 boxes of books (14 before, 6 today) that we didn't want/wouldn't use and replaced it with what you see in this picture-great finds that we will use and appreciate.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Devotion of the Day

Ram's Grandpa wrote a few devotions that were included in a book called Time Out! A Men's Devotional. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I decided to post one of his devotions here. It is neat to me to have his Grandpa's devotion even though he is in heaven now.
This devotion book has more devotions by Ram's Grandpa and also devotions from other best selling authors including Dobson, Swindoll, McDowell, and others.

Love is Patient and Kind 
by Richard C.
1 Corinthians 13:4

We're all aware of the many marriages that break up. It's happening to the young. It's happening to the old. It's happening in the Church and outside the Church.

So, what does it take to hold a marriage together? When the Bible speaks of love in 1 Corinthians 13-the "love chapter"-I believe it refers to a husband and wife.

Many marriages are intact today because love is patient. When my wife and I go somewhere together, usually one of us has to wait for the other to finish getting ready. The one who is ready first waits patiently for the other.

Love is kind. My wife and I both enjoy doing things for each other. I enjoy making her coffee in the morning. Later in the day she enjoys cooking and serving our meals. (She says that's because I always tell her how good they taste.)

We have a caring attitude toward each other and a deep respect for one another. We both enjoy saying "I love you" to one another throughout the day. 

We start off each day together with devotions: Scripture and prayer. We look for a Bible verse or biblical concept to think about during the day. We try to make our home a more loving place.

Another thing: Love is eager to believe the best, which truly brings about lasting happiness and joy.

O Lord, give us the spirit of love, which is patience and kindness, toward one another this day. Amen.

Time Out! A Men's Devotional
Clint Beckwith-Evergreen Communications-1989

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Stonesetters Part 1

I took several pictures when Lamb 1 and 2 attended Stonesetters at the state capitol. I will explain more about the day in a later post.
Lamb 1 and 2 were allowed to take a turn to sit in the speaker's chair  in the House.

The participants were kept busy from 8:30am-3pm. There were no breaks. We ate our sack lunch during debates. There wasn't even a time for bathroom breaks. So the Lambs enjoyed the couple of minutes when they were invited to lay on the ground level and look up at the ceiling at the capitol.

We saw Governor Otter's ceremonial office. The picture behind the desk is Ronald Reagan. 

At the end of the day, one of our representatives met us. He asked the Lambs if they enjoyed their first Stonesetters. Lamb 2 answered first, "It was boring and too long." Representative Holtzclaw answered that they may not appreciate Stonesetters now, but as they get older they will. We wrote to both our representatives and our senator, but Representative Holtzclaw was the only representative that met us at Stonesetters. 

 Lamb 2, Lamb 1, and Ewe attended Stonesetters this year.

Ram was kind enough to chauffeur us so we didn't have to worry about parking in downtown Boise. Lamb 3 was not old enough to attend this year. Ram and Lamb 3 got dressed up to come down to meet us at the end of the day.

We were all hungry after Stonesetters and I had a gift card for Whole Foods so we went there for an early supper. It is the only place I know we can get pizza without cheese for Lamb 1 without making a special order. We enjoyed pizza and Izze drinks. Ram and I were happy that they were running a deal of 99 cent espresso drinks so we both had a fancy coffee.

After all the Idaho history at the state capitol tour, I thought it would be fun to get the Lambs an Idaho themed treat for dessert. So we went to get Idaho ice cream potatoes.
Ice cream rolled in cinnamon with whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate topping.

They were served at a drive in and the January weather wasn't the greatest for eating outside. I thought they could eat them in the car. But I didn't think about them being dressed up. See that pool of chocolate sauce? After the treats, we stopped at the dry cleaners to drop off Lamb 2's tie and Lamb 3's church coat. Everything else that had chocolate on it was washable. They were a fun treat to have once, but none of the Lambs really liked it. They are definitely a summer treat to have outside!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Final January Declutter Update

*Ram and I began organizing his library at his church office in January. He brings a couple of boxes home at a time. First he decides what he is willing to part with. Then I am cataloging and typing up a list of what he keeps. I estimate we are about 40% done with his library. I am hoping I am not overestimating that! He inherited books from both sides of our family, a lot from my dad, and a lot from the former pastor of our church. His library is so massive that he may have duplicate or triple copies of the same book on different bookshelves in his library. So when we finish the entire library then we will study the cataloged list to see if there are more duplicates that we did not catch in the process. He has also discovered some treasures that he did not know he had.
*He has already found a lot of books that he did not want. He also found some duplicates. He took 10 boxes to the used book store and they bought 5 boxes worth. We have a lot of credit there even after he purchased a few books that have been on his wish list. I am always amazed at what they want. I hope to make it out to the used bookstore soon to see what I want with the credit.
*I got together a bunch of stuff to donate including the boxes of books the bookstore did not want and one more box of books that I didn't think was worth asking the bookstore. Soon Ram will deliver all this give away stuff. He already delivered one box of books to give away.
*We have two boxes of books that we plan to share with friends or donate to the church library. Those are set aside ready to deliver.
*Working on Ram's church books inspired me to work on my Sunday School/religion files at home. I made it through one out of two file cabinet drawers-organizing and purging a lot. I hope to finish the second drawer soon.
*We made appointments for the Lambs and for Ewe for their annual physicals. We found out there is quite a long waiting time for appointments so we decided to schedule them several months in advance so we are sure to get in.
*I began getting the paperwork together to send to our tax lady. My goal this year is after I send the taxes in to have all my paperwork here organized and shred what I don't need then. Usually I'm so happy to be done with taxes that all the paperwork gets thrown in a box. I have several boxes to go through. I would love to have all the 2015 paperwork organized now.

Not a lot of other decluttering has happened here besides Ram's library. Helping the Lambs with Stonesetters, library book clubs, homeschool, chauffeuring, and housework has kept me busy. I know Ram's books are a project worth doing and when we finish his library I will get back to decluttering at our house. Final tally of book boxes that left our house in January was 14!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

2015-2016 Homeschool Transcripts

Our state does not require testing or reporting homeschooling. I have a pretty good memory of what each Lamb did in homeschooling. I recently realized that the school years are starting to run together in my mind so I should document what the Lambs do individually. This listing is the beginning of my documentation. This is individualized what each Lamb has done this year. This does not include the subjects that we study together as a family including religion, science, art study, Latin, reading aloud, and history. This list is not in any particular order.


Lamb 1 6th Grade
Fall 2015 Cross Country
Fall 2015 Cub Scouts
January 2016 Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts
Family Book Club at Library
Confirmation Class at Church
PE Co-op
Piano Lessons
Spring 2016 Track
Saxon Math 76
A Beka Language 
Silent Reading
Continue to practice cursive
Continue spelling in WRTR
January 2016 Stonesetters

Lamb 2 4th Grade
Fall 2015 Cross Country
Family Book Club at Library
Spring 2016 Mayor’s Book Club
PE Co-op
Piano Lessons
Spring 2016 Track
Saxon Math 3 (Behind due to vision therapy, beginning to get caught up)
Fall 2015 Continue to practice printing
January 2016 begin learning cursive
Continue spelling in WRTR 
Practice reading
January 2016 Stonesetters

Lamb 3 2nd Grade
Family Book Club at Library
PE Co-op
Spring 2016 Track
Saxon Math 2
Continue to practice printing
Continue learning phonograms and WRTR
Various workbooks to practice phonics, math, handwriting, pre-handwriting skills

Whew! No wonder why I'm tired after helping the Lambs with homeschool and chauffeuring them to all these activities.We love homeschooling and I love to see my Lambs succeed at the activities they are in!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January PE

Our PE Co-op went to Crossfit once a week in January. I took my camera with me two weeks, but I didn't get the greatest photos. Here are some photos of the Lambs.

I am mentioning this for my family, there are more photos here. You need to scroll down to HS Co-op photos. Some of the kids in the photos have bright yellow shirts like the last photo shown here. If you don't see the Lambs try another group of photos. We were in the second session so you have to go past about 300 photos to get to our section of photos. It is a little confusing, but if you find the right group of photos, our Lambs are in a lot of pictures!

Our Lambs took a couple of weeks to warm up to Crossfit, but then they loved it. I have a feeling Crossfit will be their favorite month of PE Co-op. I loved their real training of how to do exercises and use equipment properly. I never had training like that at the public elementary school! We are off to another location this month.