Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
I just purchased a domain name. It's mine for a year. It's a committment!
If you'll excuse me, I will now go freak out. Just for a minute.
God has given me a love for writing and photography, and while this blog has been fun and relatively easy, it is time to streamline my stream of consciousness into one place. I've cut the clutter in my house dramatically, it's time for some cyber-decluttering as well.
Thankfully, I have a friend that can help me with this process. Because I don't have a clue what I'm doing! She swears I will love wordpress (which I have always hated), we'll see. In the mean time, stay tuned for changes and The Big Move to my (soon to be announced) new domain.
If you'll excuse me, I will now go freak out. Just for a minute.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Today is June 15, so we are half way through the month that marks the halfway point of the year. That means that six months of 2013 are gone. History. What? How did that happen? Where have I been? Well, I've become a grandma, a mother-in-law, drastically downsized, and celebrated my youngest stepson's graduation. All within four months. Doesn't seem like that much to look at what I just typed but mercy-sakes-alive I feel like I've just escaped a hurricane...albeit mostly unscathed.
I've wanted to blog more, but there just hasn't been time. Too much to do! I can't remember too much of the first quarter of the year...I was holed up and hibernating as usual. Except for March 28, when our first grandchild was born. No way I'd forget that! That little guy started out at 4 lbs and 7 oz...
|Grandpa and Jr, just a couple days old|
and soooo tiny!
...but look at him now:
|Isn't he precious? He's about 2 1/2 months here and almost 9 pounds!|
He's also rolled over already and just continues to amaze us all.
He is just so cool. I get all verklempt every time I'm around him. Just love him to pieces! And I'm completely proud of his parents, they are doing a great job!
April started off with a few trips to the hospital as the grandbaby was there for a bit (born 6 weeks early). The next thing I know, we are moving out of our ginormous, old, five bedroom house and into a super cute teeny, tiny two bedroom. Thank goodness it was only six blocks away, that made the move so easy. Still, I had a house full of stuff I didn't want to move and had to get rid of, plus deciding what I could and wanted to keep, get it packed and all that fun stuff that goes with moving. Makes me tired to just reflect on it.
Here's a virtual "tour" of our new digs:
|The "Cracker Box", which sounds infinitely better than|
|The Welcoming Committee, sans furball|
Say hello, Sister and Mister
|Step inside into the kitchen, which is about half of|
the downstairs. Seriously. So actually it's a pretty
nice size, as long as you have a small table. Which
We do. We also have a Mister who loves to be in
every picture. And a dishwasher! I'm in heaven!
|Moving on, we have Mister and Sister and the furball in the|
living room. There is just enough room for the four of us
to lounge around, but still room for company! We just have
to sit vertically, is all.
|Not sure if this gives any indication of size, but it's the view from|
the other end.
|Not much to show here, it's a teeny, tiny bathroom.|
When Sister saw it she said "That's not a bathroom,
that's a closet with a toilet in it". Apparently, the
tub and sink are extraneous.
|The tiny-ness of the house is balanced out with a humongous|
back yard. We're going to put in a fire pit some time soon.
We love campfires! If we were going to live here longer, or buy it
I'd want to put in a garden.
If you have known me for any length of time, you know that organization has never really been what you'd call my "strong suit." I think I did a pretty good job of letting go of things we really didn't need. I know that my husband was surprised a few times with how easily I agreed to get rid of some things. Truth be told, I was surprised too. There was still a lot of work involved to get things packed and moved (in less than two weeks), plus unpacking and figuring out where to put things.
The task now will be to not accumulate a bunch of stuff in the year or so we live here before we head west. I know that this move, I reduced things to things I didn't want to live without in this new home. The next move will require more difficult decisions, because neither one of us wants to move all this stuff across the country. When it comes right down to it though, there isn't that much that I couldn't walk away from if need be. I'm going to take time over the next year to find and consolidate those precious things that can't be replaced...ultrasound pictures of the kids and special mementos and such...and limit myself to what will fit in a decent sized box. As we get closer to moving, I'll do the same with books and other things that I would like to take but need to take less of. The kitchen things will be kind of hard though, cast iron pans are almost irreplaceable...when you consider the time and effort put into seasoning and maintaining them!
It's nice to know that I am less attached to "stuff" than I used to be. I think I used to see my "things" as part of me in a sense, and it was hard to get rid of them with that kind of perspective. Now when I look around, I just see stuff for the most part. And stuff is just stuff...it has no power over me other than what I give to it.
The night we moved into our new home, Number One Son stopped by to tell us he and his fiancee were getting married...the next day at 4:00 in a town an hour away. Hubby didn't take that so well, but in his defense he was exhausted from moving all day! And to spring something like that on him at that moment...well...yeah. Thankfully, they put it off a couple of days at least so we could be there. There was no way we could have been there on the original day, so I'm glad they moved it so at least some of his family could be there.
|Mr and Mrs Number One. Hoping and praying for a long,|
happy marriage for them!
Next up, my youngest stepson's graduation! Of course that meant planning and putting on an open house, for which I agreed to make meatballs. I love making meatballs, really! I had 15 pounds of venison and hamburger I mixed up to make them. Yum! Hubby cooked up some chicken wings at his job, and their famous Pit-tatoes...which I discovered are NOT gluten free. So, consuming those and veggie dip made with Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (which I discovered AFTER I ate it...) and coupled with several days of extreme busyness before and after the party...well, I felt pretty much like I got run over by a very large truck. It took several days for me to "recover"! But it was a great party, our Marine was able to come back and surprise his brother, my Arizona in-laws were here and got to meet their GREAT-grandson, and my stepson made out like a bandit. Plus, the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Our Marine's high school graduation and open house two years ago was in weather reminiscent of what I imagine sitting in the foyer of hell would be like. Sooooo hot!
|Four generations of Yoder boys! Jr is on Great Grandpa's lap,|
next to Grandpa with Mister, and our Marine. In back are
the Graduate and the Number One Son, who recently made
me a mother in law. It was so nice to have all the boys
So, yeah...I've been kind of busy. I think that finally, things are put together well enough, although there's a few projects that I have yet to complete. They aren't essential, but I'm hoping I can get them done. And I love having waaaay less space to maintain. Housework is getting done in half the time, or less, and everything pretty much has a home. I have really enjoyed this Sabbath, because I really felt like I could REST. Last Sabbath was not restful at all, but I enjoyed the opportunity to be a blessing to our Graduate very much. Today, I could just rest and not even think about anything on any "to-do" list. Aaahhh...
Before I sign off...I must leave you with another picture of our sweet grandbaby...I just can't get enough of him!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
As a lifelong bookworm, I just love getting free books to review for booksneeze! Hop on over to my book review blog and check out my review for gods at war: defeating the idols that battle for your heart by Kyle Idleman, author of not a fan. Just click on the book cover image below:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
After five and a half years in the house we are in as of the time of this post, we are saying goodbye to Gigantic, Old, Dusty House and hello to Teeny, Tiny, Considerably Less Old and Hopefully Less Dusty House. I can hardly believe that a week from tomorrow is Moving Day! I haven't started packing yet, and I'm not even remotely stressed. Some of you just may have experienced stress reading that last part about not packing with only a week until moving day...I'm sorry to have stressed you out! Oddly, this is the first move I can ever remember that I did not have some kind of dread deep within, even when the move was wanted.
I am very thankful to have a home to live in, a home that is safe and comfortable. And if we owned this home and had the money, it could really be fixed up nicely. I love the old, dark wood here. I love being close to the library and the butcher shop. But I won't miss the dust! There's not much you can do about dust in a house that is over one hundred years old. Battle it or give in...and honestly, I surrendered. It was just too much. I also will not miss living on a very busy road. Our new house has a dishwasher and central air, and I can't tell you how happy that makes me!
We are only moving six blocks away, and it's temporary...until we move to Arizona in a year or so. It will help us accomplish two very important steps in getting to the Valley of the Sun...save money and get rid of stuff. Obviously, we'll need money to move across the country. And I am NOT taking all this junk with us. I'm tired of dragging it around with me. And the way this is working out will make it fairly easy to downsize. First, we move essentials...beds, couch, kitchen stuff...then we figure out what we have room for and move that. The rest of it will get sold, given away or thrown away.
It's true I've struggled with clutter and KTMS (Keeping Too Much Stuff). I even did a post a while back about being SOS (Sick of Stuff). And it's also true that I could have gotten rid of said stuff at any time...you know, I Can Quit Any Time I Want To...but it's much easier when you just don't have room for it. I know I'll have to make some tough decisions, but it's just stuff. I'm tired of feeling choked and suffocated by stuff that just sits around collecting dust.
So now, I need to plan the moving strategy, then see if it matches my husband's. Most likely it does not, since men and women think completely differently. But one thing I love about our relationship is that most of the time we work very well together. We've learned when to give and when to take and when to leave the other alone (most important!), and I know even if our strategies are not identical, we'll get through the move just fine.
I'm going to post this and get back to Pinterest. I can't believe some of the things you can do with pallets...amazing, I tell you. I've got ideas for summer projects...
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Have you ever packed up and moved across the country? Was it the best thing you've ever done or a total nightmare? If you have kids, how did they adjust to leaving their family and friends nearby? If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
We've made the decision to move to Arizona next year. Yes, that's right...this summer-hating, sun-avoiding, lover of ice cold air conditioning has agreed to move to Arizona, to the Valley of the Sun. Have I lost my mind? Am I having an identity crisis? Perhaps...but here's the reasons (in no particular order) why we've decided to do this and why I've agreed (and, gasp, even encouraged this).
- MY HUSBAND IS S.A.D. He needs the sun like the rest of us need air and water. I dread the winter, because he hibernates. I feel like a single mom a lot, and that makes me sad. There's a saying that goes "when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", but I think that applies to daddy as well, at least at our house. When daddy's happy, mommy's happy, and the kids are happy. It all rolls downhill.
- IT'S BEEN A LONG-TIME DREAM My husband has wanted to move out there for years. His dad and brother live there, and I know he would love to be closer to them and do more with them. I always used to tell him "THERE IS NO WAY I WILL EVER LIVE IN ARIZONA. EVER. THEY HAVE TOO MUCH SUN, TOO MUCH HEAT, AND THEY HAVE SCORPIONS!" You know how they say "Never say never"? Yeah...my life is fraught with examples on why that is good advice..."I'll never have kids" (I have 5)..."I'll never drive a minivan" yep...drove one for six years..."I'll never get married again" well, I did...and I'm glad I did!
- THEY DON'T DO DUMB STUPID TIME THERE Yes, that's right. I want to move to a dry, scorching, land of blazing sun and scorpions to escape the stupidity of "daylight savings time." I hate DST that much. I know I'll have to adjust to a new time zone, but I'm thinking waking up at six am in Arizona, when it's 8 am in Indiana, will instantly turn me into a morning person. Maybe not, but at least I won't have to suffer for months on end in the spring anymore.
- I CAME. I SAW. I FELL IN LOVE. I've been out there twice now...I know, I know...two times? Big deal! But, I just fell in love with the landscape...mountains and cacti and palm trees. Desert landscaping in the yards...no more mowing!! And who can resist a desert sunset? Not this girl.
- AIR CONDITIONING I told my husband that as long as I didn't have to leave the house during the day, and our car had good AC, I could handle it. Once that scorching sun dips down below the horizon I think I could handle the heat. My skin reacts to the sun much like a vampire's. And besides, it's that dry heat...
- THE OLDER KIDS ARE GROWN UP AND MOVED OUT We've wanted to move out of the area, at least, and out of state, for years now but stuck around because of the school system the older kids were in. The youngest of the oldest has finished school and moved out and since we homeschool our kids, school systems are not an issue for us. Which is good, because apparently, Arizona schools suck.
- DESERT STARGAZING, CANYON HIKING, AND OTHER SW NATURE THINGS My daughter longs to go out to the desert and gaze at the stars we can't see from where we are now. I share the same desire. She's also a rock hound and loves critters of all kinds. And what boy doesn't love sand? There is a lot of cool naturey things there that you just don't find in the midwest. Like Black Widow spiders and Palmetto bugs...those are almost deal breakers...
- WE DON'T WANT TO DIE WHERE WE ARE It's not like Indiana is that bad, but honestly, I'm just tired of living here. I was born in the county I live in, and aside from a couple years living in a neighboring county...just inside it...I've spent all of my 41 years living here. I'd love to experience something different before I die. And the desert is vastly different.
- WE'D BE CLOSER TO OUR MARINE My middle stepson has escaped the Midwest and loves living in California. I wouldn't want to live there, since they'll probably fall off into the ocean some day, but to each his own. We don't think he'll be back here, and we miss him. It will be nice to be closer to him, and to a Marine Mom I met online and have become good friends with. I know another Marine Mom from Ohio that said she'd join us out in Arizona, which would be way cool!
- THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO THERE I checked out various city websites there and was blown away by all the activities they have there. Maybe it's just the town we live in, but there's just not much of anything to do here. No wonder teenagers get bored and break into cars. Just sayin'. There's also way more homeschool groups there, and they look like they're pretty active. There's a few around where we are, but I haven't found many that are very active. Well intentioned, sure...just lacking on follow through.
We've set a date of mid-June next year, but since we've got some youngin's wanting to get married the first of June, and another youngin wanting to get married in May...we might have to push it out further. If we do that, I'd say let's not be stupid and move in the middle of the summer. I hear it gets really, really hot out there. I'd say lets be moved out there by my birthday in November. That would be the best birthday present ever!
The top half of the flag represents the 13 original colonies of the United States and the western setting sun. The copper star in the center of the flag identifies Arizona as the largest copper producing state in the union.
The lower half of the flag is a field of blue, the same Liberty Blue found in the United States' Flag. The red found in the rays of the setting sun is also the same shade of red found in the United States' Flag. The Blue of the lower half of the flag and the yellow of the western setting sun are the Arizona State Colors. The red and yellow colors found in the rays are the colors flown by the Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in his unsuccessful search for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540.
The Arizona State Flag was adopted by the Arizona State Legislature on February 27, 1917. The blue, red, yellow and copper flag was adopted despite numerous dissenting votes and then Governor Campbell's refusal to sign the bill.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Who wants to win some free stuff? Well, I've got two great giveaways to tell you about...
My friend the Homesteading Hippy is giving away an awesome prize package! Check out her post on...
and enter to win some way cool EcoJarz lids and stainless steel straws to help you use less disposable crap. It's a good thing, I tell you! She's got several ways to earn extra entries, and the giveaway ends in just 5 days, as of this posting [Monday, April 15]. Let's quit TAXING the environment and start being a BYOC kind of society (; What's BYOC? Head on over to her blog and read all about it!
And, the second giveaway is one I'm doing myself on my Purposeful Nourishment blog. I got so excited about CC Dolch All Purpose Gluten Free Flour that I wrote the company and told them how much I loved it and that I recommended it on my blog. Well, they linked to my blog on their website and sent me some flour and a very nice reply to my email. They're a great, family-oriented kind of company that takes great care of their customers! I am convinced I've found my "forever flour" and will be a loyal customer for sure. So, since they were so kind to send me some GF love, I'm going to share it with some lucky reader! Check out my post at
GIVEAWAY!! Win a Bag of C.C. Dolch Gluten Free Flour! Giveaway ends on April 30, 2013!!
Now, go get yourself entered to win some terrific prizes!
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
My husband and I recently became grandparents. At 41. I really didn't see that coming down the pike! I suppose technically I'm a "stepgrandma" but that's quite a mouthful. I'm fine with grandma, or whatever cute little way our grandson says it. The other grandma (on our side of the family) wants to be called Mamaw, so that's a nice way to never be confused about whom he is talking about.
I know I'm completely biased, but then what parent or grandparent isn't? This little guy decided his birthday would be six weeks before what the doctor said it should be and was 4 pounds and 7 ounces, 18 inches long. He is the most precious little thing! I happen to love little babies, they are just so adorable! Our daughter was born 5 1/2 weeks early and weighed in at a whopping 3 pounds 13 ounces, our son was only 10 days early and outweighed his sister at 5 pounds 8 ounces. It is just amazing to see perfectly formed fingers and toes and ears and lips and noses in miniature.
He had some trouble breathing and eating at first, and was transferred to another hospital with a better-equipped NICU. But each day he is doing better and better. The ventilator was removed after a couple of days, today they removed the IV and he is able to breast feed three times a day, although the feeding tube is still in place. If he keeps improving with his feedings and gaining weight, he should be able to come home this weekend. I can't wait for him to be home and his family to all be together. I know how hard it is to leave the hospital without your baby, especially your first one...our daughter was in the hospital for 12 days before she could come home.
One thing I have really enjoyed is watching his father interact with him. My stepson gets this soft look on his face and you can just see how much he loves his son. It makes me get all verklempt to think about it...I'm even getting all teary-eyed typing this. So many fathers walk out on their kids, especially when they are young and the pregnancy was unplanned. I really believe he is going to be a great dad, and his mommy will be a great mom. They're young and have a lot to learn, but they work well together and they both love their son to pieces. That's a good start!
My last name is a popular Amish name, although we are not Amish. And when you put Grandma in front of it, it sure sounds old. And Amish. But it's a name I proudly accept! Grandma conjures up images of softness, love, and cookies.
Realizing that I am grandma sure puts a new spin on "grandma" now. I still think of my own grandma, or my mom or mother in law when I think it or say it. And when we're all in a room together it might take me a bit to respond to that until I'm completely used to it. But I'm OK with it. Really and truly...he is such an amazing little guy and I look forward to watching him grow, and watching his parents grow with him. It's a beautiful thing!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate, loathe, detest and despise DST. I've had some friends tell me they missed my annual spring rant and rave on Facebook, since I gave that up some time ago. They all think it's funny.
Today, we are not amused.
In fact, we are downright pissy. And tired. And counting down to November 3, the Glorious Return of my beloved Standard Time...in 236 days. Yes, I am counting...I have a countdown app on my phone.
I purposely did not do much ranting and raving about Dumb Stupid Time this year, as an experiment. Do I feel crappy because I talk myself into it? Or do I feel crappy because I don't handle the stupid time change well.
Let's see...today is Tuesday. The Dumb Stupid Time change was Sunday. I could hardly stay awake Sunday morning at church, and felt tired and dizzy all day. My dishes are piled up. So is the laundry. I spent all of yesterday in my pj's and robe. Haven't showered in two days because I don't have the energy and don't really care. All I want to do is sleep, because then I don't feel dizzy and out of sorts. And mostly, I just want to scratch people's eyes out. Go ahead, Mitch...get within arm's reach, I dare you.
There are a lot of people out there who love Dumb Stupid Time, they don't understand how anyone could not like it. There's other people out there who think people like me just need to "suck it up and deal with it" because it's "only one hour." These are the people who have no problem adjusting to the time change, so they think everyone should be like them. Here's a news flash for you...not everyone is like you. Haven't you noticed that yet? We look differently, act differently, react differently (if you are allergic to peanuts, then does everyone have to be allergic to them? No, that is ridiculous). So why does the way the Dumb Stupid Time change affects different people have to be the same? It doesn't, that is moronic.
Maybe you have no trouble with it. That's lovely. Goody for you. But quit saying to the rest of us who do have trouble with it to "suck it up" because it's "only one hour." Actually, it's not "only one hour", as the change to Dumb Stupid Time messes with our natural Circadian rhythms:
And"While we generally think that the time changes enforced by the DST transitions are 'only an hour,' they have far more drastic effects if viewed in the context of the circadian clock's seasonal changes," Roenneberg said. "This seemingly small hour translates to a repeat of 10 weeks in the annual progression of the relationship between our sleep-wake cycle and dawn--four weeks in spring and six weeks in autumn. In effect, it's as if the entire population of Germany, for example, is transported to Morocco in spring and back again in autumn."Indeed, "after taking the seasonal adjustment into account, our results show that the human circadian clock does not adjust to the DST transition," Roenneberg said. "This is especially obvious in the late chronotypes in spring when one looks at their daily activity patterns. Essentially, their biological timing stays on standard, winter time, while they have to adjust their social schedules to the advanced clock time throughout the summer."
In a second study, they analyzed the timing of sleep and activity for eight weeks around each of the two DST transitions in 50 people, taking into account each individual's natural clock preferences, or "chronotypes," ranging from morning larks to night owls. They found that the timing of both sleep and peak activity levels readily adjust to the release from DST in autumn, but that the timing of activity does not adjust to the start of DST in spring, especially in those who like to stay up late and sleep in. (emphasis mine)
I am definitely a night owl, and I can absolutely attest to the fact that Dumb Stupid Time jacks me up. And not just for a few days or a week while I "adjust." It takes months, if at all. I get to where I can at least function somewhat, but the fatigue and odd feeling of living in a parallel universe never completely goes away. I don't enjoy spring or summer at all so that "extra" hour of daylight means nothing to me, other than it ruins 75% of my year. Every year.
Thanks again, Mitch. I'm still mad at you and so glad you're not our
dictator governor anymore. Go rot in all that extra daylight.
Monday, March 4, 2013
book review page for my latest Booksneeze review! I've read The 5 Money Personalities by Scott and Bethany Palmer, and I think YOU should read it too!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
It's hard to believe yet another year has flown by! My baby will be FIVE next month, my firstborn will be THIRTEEN...my head is spinning. There's been many changes in the last year or so, mostly in the spiritual and emotional areas for me. Good ones, thankfully!
As God continues to bring healing and restoration in my "inner man", my housekeeping improves. I realized this week that it actually bothers me to have dirty dishes piled up. Oh, it "bothered" me before...just not enough to motivate me much to do something about it until I absolutely had to. This is definitely a new, and welcomed, development.
God has been opening my eyes about some things, which I plan to blog about in the coming months. It's amazing what happens when you let go of what you have always believed to be true...what you've always been taught or assumed is true...and allow Yahweh to reveal the truth that He established in the beginning.
We have some big milestones approaching...a high school graduation, a grandbaby on the way, another one leaving the nest, a new teenager in the family. I'm looking forward to what this year has to offer...and I'm sure when I look back this time next year, it unfolded differently than I thought it would. Life has a funny way of operating like that.
Once again, we've made changes in the area of food and nutrition...some rather begrudgingly in the beginning, but are turning out to be good changes. I've got another new "tool" in my kitchen...check out my post at my nutrition blog, Purposeful Nourishment, on Perpetual Broth.
I continue to try and purge the clutter in the house. It now seems to be mostly contained to closets, porches (ugh...that front porch I spent so much time cleaning is in need of another purging but it's not as bad as the last time!!), unused rooms and some corners. I cleaned out the desk today, and while there is still too much in the drawers and files, I threw out a trash bag full of papers and junk that I'd been holding on to..."just in case." Every time I go through the desk, I am able to let go of a little more. I know what would really kick me in gear is to get a different desk. Then I would HAVE to get rid of stuff!
I have a load of stuff to take to Goodwill, but since I haven't been there in quite some time, I haven't taken it with me when I leave town. I should just take it down to the drop off box here in town. I'll have to add that as a weekly task to my S.H.E. system...which I've been using again with success. The dishes are done and the house in order when I go to bed unless there's just been some kind of crazy going on here. And since that just neeeevvveeerrr happens....well, it has happened a bit less it seems, since I've been more on top of my game around here lately.
New Year's Resolutions have never been my thing, and this year is no different. I just have an overall goal, every year, to become and do better than what I was and did last year. Not so overwhelming when I think of it like that!
I hope you have had a positive start to 2013, and whatever comes your way you will be strong and equipped to handle it. Here's to a great year!!