Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Most Perfect Sentence Ever Written

As a homeschooling mama, I try to keep things interesting for DT. This boy HATES to write, and so recently, we've been learning to type/keyboard. And to keep from typing A, A, A, B, B, B, etc, we've been using the same wonderful sentence that we use to practice handwriting, because it has every letter of the alphabet in it.
What is this magical, marvelous, mystical sentence, you ask?

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back.

I typed it once for him and then he typed it twice. The first time took him quite a while, but already by the second time, he was moving faster. Go DEREK!

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back. 
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back.

The red letters are Derek's work. I"m so proud of him! 

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today... February 2, 2016

Outside my window... The moon shines desperately against the night, but to no avail. It's chilly now and the birds have gone to bed.

I am thinking...that it's been too long since I've participated in the SWD community.

I am thankful...that it's Grati-Tuesday and I'm focused on being thankful for my many blessings.

I am wearing...jeans, a pink tee layered under a floral scrub top, some comfy socks and my trusty tennies.

I am creating...a haven of rest not only for the company I'm expecting this weekend, but for my family and all those who seek a safe place this week.

I am going...to bed soon, as a good book and warm covers beckon me to put this day to rest.

I am wondering...why I always wax philosophical at night when the labors of the day are done.

I am reading...I just finished a book a few days ago, and aside from flipping through a few magazines, am not reading anything at this moment. Got a suggestion for me?

I am hoping...that Punxsutawney Phil was correct today and that spring is coming early.

I am learning...to set gentle, kind boundaries around my life that protect not only me, but my family from my "I'm-a-doormat" tendencies.

In my garden...I've cut back my rose bushes to waist height, which is quite a chop considering some were over 6 feet tall. I've got one brave little pea vine that survived the cold and snow we had last month and is still growing little bit by little bit.

In my kitchen...we're on what feels like forever and a day of a pantry challenge, but it's "only" week 5 of trying to eat what's on hand and only purchasing fresh dairy and produce. The meals are starting to get odd, but we're not going hungry. The goal is to have eaten everything with a 2015 label before mid-2016. We're doing well.

In the homeschool room...DT and I started Exploring Countries and Cultures from MFW this week and so far, he's delighted and so am I. We are also starting piano lessons, but he's not sure how he feels about that just yet. ;)

A favorite quote for today...courtesy of Footloose (2011 remake)

Don't ask me why, because I don't know, but this just cracks me up!

A peek into one of my days...Patrick (far left)  is home from his trip to Iowa and Illinois, and is joined by his brothers, biological and otherwise. David, Nathan (our caramel son) and Derek. I know the picture is blurry but I turned the flash off so as not to attract attention to myself. I love how they are piled up on the couch together like a pile of sleepy puppies. They are so happy to be together again.

One of my favorite things...Family.

Post Script... I've challenged myself to accept this reading challenge. Anyone care to join me?

If you've enjoyed this little peek into my life, feel free to hop on over and read other day book entries and possibly even post one of your own here.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

And Just Like That... {Week 28 Update}

...Dan is gone.

Looks like he won't be gone as long as we were thinking. He's going to squirrel away money like crazy this coming month and then retire from the job so he can come home. He says it still feels like they are watching him because of productivity levels (But with having 3 different apprentices over the 6 months, it must be hard to find a good rhythm) and if they lay him off, he won't care. So, could be as little as a few weeks before Hercules is home again. This has been quite the experience and while I'm sure someday I'll say I'm glad we had it, for now I just want him home again and to never ever leave town for work again. :)

In other news, Pat returned home this week and it's been wonderful to see him settle right back into his place almost as if he never left. Nathan has spent the night, the boys and I have laughed our heads off at the dinner table together over his antics and hilarious stories and it feels GOOD to have him home again. If Dan's "re-entry" to home life is as smooth, I'll count myself incredibly blessed.

A bit less lonely in NM, 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

And Just Like That... {Week 27 Update}

...Dan is gone.

Dan is still in Iowa, but Pat has switched "hosts" and is enjoying some time in Illinois with 'Shua and Lauren and the extended family over there.
Dan is done. D-O-N-E. He wants to be home. His partner got laid off last week and while Dan has never been laid off from a job due to lack of productivity and it would have offended him greatly, I think he was a wee bit sad that he wasn't laid off as well. He wants to save up enough money to get the truck home and after that, just be finished and return to NM.
I am fine with that compromise. I am O-V-E-R him being gone as well and am anxiously awaiting his return. In reality, he will probably be gone yet another 10-12 weeks, but knowing we are on the shorter end of our time apart is good news. Knowing that together we've decided he won't go right to AZ or Cali to look for work is comforting. And that if he does eventually end up in one of those places, knowing we will try to go with him is even more comforting.
This has been such a season of growth. We've both learned to do things that either we didn't know how to do previously, or re-learned how to do them after decades of the other one doing it for them. (I think that part was mostly me, Dan takes such good care of me!) We have a renewed appreciation for the work that the other one does to make our life more pleasant. We have a new sense of what a good team we are together.
I know I'm sounding all "rose colored glasses" tonight, but I am finally able to see the light at the end of this incredibly long, insanely dark tunnel we've been 'enjoying' for the past 6.5 months. And, with that I'm able to be stepping back just a bit and getting a little perspective. Perspective is goooood!
Lonely for not much longer,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

And Just Like That... {Week 25 Update}

Dan is gone.
And Pat is still in Iowa with him.

I don't have anything else to say about that. I think that pretty much sums it up.
25 weeks.

Missing them from NM,

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! Welcome, 2016!

Wow. 2016. I am old, y'all. And, I'm more ok with that than I thought I would be at this age. However, being "this age" is not as bad as some would have you believe. Knowing what you want, what you like and whom you love is so much more important than what other people think about you. Goodbye 20s, I don't miss you. Shoot, goodbye 30s, I don't miss you either.

There's a lot of talk at this time of year about goals, resolutions, priorities, mottoes, and having a WORD for the year. I don't think there is anything magical, per se, about turning the page on the calendar, but I AM all about turning over a new leaf, or finding new ways to stay on top of one recently overturned. I don't have a word for the year, although someone suggested 'Moderation'. I am opting more for the motto of "Stop the Glorification of Busy." We all do it. We admire people that get a ton accomplished every day. We do. I know that for years, I've found part of my self esteem in being THAT MOM, the one that does it all. That's all fine and dandy except that no one can do it all. Especially not well, and even more so, not forever. So, this year, I'm stepping back. I"m quitting the dog and pony show and working on things that are in line with my priorities. My family. My home. My friends. My church. My neighborhood.
In direct defiance of having it all and doing it all, I'm doing less this year. And I'm going to do a better job since I won't be spread so thin. I'll have time to laugh at my silly children's antics. I'll have time to spend with my hunky dunky husband. I'll have time to linger over a tasty dinner with friends without having to rush off to the next activity. Part of this will happen naturally as the boys get bigger and more independent, part because my nephew and my mother have both moved out this year, and part because my job requires less and less of me (except during holidays and summer break). But most of this will happen because I'm learning to say NO to unnecessary crazy. I'm learning to say, "That isn't in line with my priorities right now."
Here's what IS making the cut this year:

~Daily Devotions: This is something I've struggled with for years. 10 minutes in the morning make the whole day go better because I've started with the important thing first.
~Health: Losing weight through portion control and exercise. Lost 7 pounds just before Thanksgiving and kept it off through the holidays. Looking to lose 25-ish more pounds.
~Homeschooling: Having a set schedule again is making school happen more often and with better results.
~Budgeting: Again, an area I've struggled with for years, even though I manage the money. Dan's months in Iowa are helping us find hot spot issues and address them. I'm loving the Dave Ramsey "Every Dollar" app on my new-to-me iPhone.
~Socializing: I am seeking to spend a morning at least once a month (preferably once every 1-2 weeks) in the company of other women to lift each other up and bear one another's burdens.
~Mental Health: I am working to remove "SHOULD" from my vocabulary, since I use it to bludgeon myself over the head with guilt when I'm asked to participate in something that doesn't align with my priorities or talents. So, goodbye SHOULD, I don't need you anymore.
~Marriage: Last on the list, but certainly not in my heart. Dan's absence these past 6 months have really done much to remind me of how much we enjoy one another and what a vast hole has been in our lives since he's been away. So, I'm looking for ways to spend time together, even across the miles (so thankful for today's technology) and putting things together for us to do as a couple once he's home again.
That's it.
Other things like reading, letter writing, blogging, cooking from scratch and the like remain high on my personal to do list, but aren't being put on the list of goals for the year. If they happen, awesome. If not, that's fine, too.
If you need me, I'll be working out, visiting with friends, or face-timing the hubster. I love my life!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Catching UP with Us Meyer's

Catching up with us these days is getting harder and harder. Let's see if a brief synopsis will suffice for the past few months as an overview.

July: Mom went to IL for an extended trip. My Aunt Janet (Dad's sister) passed away and Mom made the trip to Massachusetts for the funeral and then back to IL. Dan left for an extended work assignment in Iowa and will be gone somewhere between 8-12 MONTHS. (don't ask) He got to pop over to IL one of the weekends and surprise his mama and brothers at the Walter's Family Reunion.

August: Derek turned 10 and joined the double digit club. Dan and I celebrated (separately) our 19th wedding anniversary. Mom returned from IL just in time to welcome Uncle Jerry and Aunt Marion for a quick visit in Cruces and then joined them for a visit to Idaho. Once she was finished visiting the family in Idaho, she drove through Cali on the way home to visit Dolli, RyRy and Wyatt. Tony Bean got married, and even after we'd said we couldn't come, Dan made it to the wedding and had a great time.

September: I spent 8 glorious days in Iowa with Dan to actually celebrate our anniversary. 8 days + hunky hubby + no responsibilities + first kidless week together in 18 years = BEST VACAY EVER. Period. Mom stayed with the boys (thanks Mom!) Mom them packed up and moved back to IL. I miss her desperately. We purchase Dan's plane ticket home for Thanksgiving. Pat and Derek start school.

October: David turned 18 and joined the newly adult club. (Mama K has feelings about that) Pat and David seriously consider a trip to Iowa but determine that now is not the best time. Joshua turns 27. David quits second job in favor of taking on more hours at first job. Fall Festival (I did a trunk this year) is a smashing success serving more than 8,000 people from our community. 

November: Renaissance Faire comes to Las Cruces. I opt to only volunteer one day so that I can enjoy the Faire for one of the days. Our church again does Feed My Starving Children Manna Packs. David moves out of our house and into Jay, Rachel and Maddie's apartment. Pat signs up to get his driver's permit. Hannah Ruoss comes to visit for 5 days. Patrick decides to get baptized the weekend that Dan is home for Thanksgiving...in the Rio Grande. (Brr!)  Kimberly makes plans to come visit in December. Dan decides that for Christmas, he will drive home and take Pat back with him (hooray for online school) Mama K opts for a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal of Dragon Soup, green bean casserole and pre-made pies so she can spend the extra time with Dan while he's home for Thanksgiving. Derek and Mama start making holiday plans and switch to Unschooling until after the New Year. 

See what I mean? I thought having a house full of littles was tiring and super fun. And it was. But in a completely different way than having a house full (and now not so full) of BIGS can be exhausting, exhilarating and exciting all in one day.
Thanks for trying to keep up with us. Goodness knows I can barely keep up and I live here. :)
Oh, and one more thing. For those of you not on FB (but isn't everyone these days?) my hair has undergone a small transition since Dan's departure in July. In July my hair looked like this.

In August and the first part of Sept, it looked like this.

In late September and October, it looked like this. 

And now in November, it looks like this. 

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