A Rare Treat

Spring in March/April.

That doesn't happen here. We usually don't get much of a spring, and it doesn't come until May/June.

This year, after an unusually mild winter, we had spring weather come in March, and not just for a week or two. And, what came with it is flowering trees with more blooms than I've ever seen. Everything is just bursting forth with beauty. The tulips and dafodils and all the spring flowers are full and there are so many of them!

I've never seen a spring like this one, and I thank God for the treat we've received this year. Absolutely gorgeous!
  • alp1926
    Same here, and I've LOVED it!!!!
    by alp1926 at 04/07/12 12:54PM
  • chickadee
    Agreed. We did get one 28 degree morning which stopped the dogwood blossoms in their tracks, but nothing else was harmed. Everything else is, as you said, "absolutely gorgeous". I am anxiously awaiting the wherewithall to start sprucing up around here. Oh, I have pulled weeds, etc., and that made some improvement, but I am itching to do more.
    by chickadee at 04/07/12 12:56PM
  • aleta
    Oddly enough, we have had a beatiful spring following the drought of last year. God is definitely in control!
    by aleta at 04/07/12 5:11PM
  • mjintexas
    We are having early summer! :)
    by mjintexas at 04/08/12 6:33PM
  • holly_ann
    This year has been amazing!!
    by holly_ann at 04/09/12 9:08PM
  • quincysmom
    by quincysmom at 04/10/12 10:42AM
  • alp1926
    You're right. Things do not slow down after the kids move out (and away). If anything it speeds up!
    by alp1926 at 05/24/12 11:16AM
  • chickadee
    So back out of your driveway and head east! How are you doing?
    by chickadee at 05/26/12 10:22PM
  • anne
    Sounds LOVELY!!!
    by anne at 06/18/12 3:41PM
  • aleta
    Thank you for your prayers.
    by aleta at 08/11/12 4:04PM
  • chickadee
    I MISS YOU!!! How are you? How's Leela? The only time I hear anything is when Alicia shows me a picture you've posted on FB. Loved the most recent of Leela. She looks older, of course, but that beautiful face hasn't changed :)
    by chickadee at 08/31/12 5:44AM
  • chickadee
    How is that going?
    by chickadee at 09/02/12 10:12PM
  • alp1926
    Thank you, Linda!
    by alp1926 at 09/18/12 10:50AM


I sometimes get my mind set on something, and it becomes an obsession, at least for awhile.

The latest one involves doing some pre-school activities with Leela. Some of her friends at church are starting pre-school, but she's not able to go. So, I told her I would be her pre-school teacher.

Then I started on a quest to find out about a program that they used when I was student teaching Kindergarten (many moons ago). It was called Alpha-Time, and each letter was a character. The consonants were boys and the vowels were girls. There was a blow-up character for each one, and the kids loved it. I remember it all these years later.

In my search, I found that they are now called the Letter People, and have been updated to be "politically correct". The boys and girls get equal representation and the junk food references in the names have been removed (example, Mr Cotton Candy is now Mr Crazy Cap, or something like that).

The new version is VERY expensive, but lucky for me, I'm partial to the original version. Since that is not copyrighted anymore, some people have put together some inexpensive materials centered around the original letter people. There were songs to go with each one, and also videos, so I've received some of that. The only thing I haven't been able to find is the blow-up characters, so I decided to make them myself out of flannel and felt.

The first one is Mr. Munchy Mouth M, and even though he is my first attempt, and a little rough around the edges, I think he's kind of cute. The big question now is whether I will stay interested long enough to complete all 26...
  • quincysmom
    That sounds like fun! She will LOVE it! My dad sold for a school equipment company when I was in grade school and jr. high. Alpha Time was one of the favorite things!!!! Mr; TALL TEETH was T , A was ACHOO . . . . Good memories.
    by quincysmom at 08/14/11 6:49AM
  • aleta
    Apparently, I missed out somewhere along the way! (or just have a bad memory!) Good for you in your search and creativity!
    by aleta at 08/14/11 7:16AM
  • alp1926
    Our girls went through kindergarten when they were using the letter people. Hannah was late enough to get in on the "politically correct" series. They don't even use it in kindergarten here anymore. I guess it's beneath that age now. Good luck with it. If she latches on to it, I'm sure that will help you keep your interest.
    by alp1926 at 08/14/11 7:21AM
  • telly
    Another great homeschool preschool age program is Hands on Homeschooling. We are starting year 2 (age 3) We are using it to see if we want to homeschool Caelan once he gets to school age. I rather know now if I am cut out for it than find out to late.
    by telly at 08/14/11 3:25PM
  • curlie
    That sounds like a really cute idea! I didn't know you student taught in kindergarten. Did you teach as your profession at all after that?
    by curlie at 08/14/11 6:50PM
  • mjintexas
    That does sound like a cute idea. How sweet of you to be Leela's teacher!
    by mjintexas at 08/15/11 10:03AM
  • mockinbird
    They are still being used in our kindergarten program
    by mockinbird at 08/15/11 2:03PM
  • textilet
    What a great activity for the two of you!
    by textilet at 08/15/11 9:04PM
  • bestill
    I am not a big fan of organized preschool. I think nurturing in the home has its advantages. What a great thing for you and Leela to do together!
    by bestill at 08/20/11 9:10PM


Things are moving right along here. I'm still working on shedding some of my co-dependent behaviors. :)

At Christmas, we went off of our healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, and haven't been able to get back on yet. It is definitely time though, we're feeling pretty crummy, bloated, lack of energy, etc. And have put on more than a few pounds. We know how it feels to feel good, we just have to get into the routine again... and give up ice cream - boo.

Have a nice week everyone.
  • textilet
    I hope you start feeling better soon with your rededication to healthy eating. Last year I got off sugar, wheat, and soy for awhile. I found that soy doesn't work for me (but I can use soy sauce) and wheat is really bloating! I've started an exercise routine and when I was eating wheat my knees and feet felt swollen, but when I got off it (again) I feel sooo much better! With all the gluten intolerant people, it makes finding alternatives pretty easy. We eat rice pasta sometimes and I have rice almost every morning instead of cereal or toast.

    I can't remember what all you give up on your diet, I'll have to look it up.
    by textilet at 06/27/11 9:10PM
  • quincysmom
    It is SO hard to give up ice cream! I wish I could give up all sweets. If I can give up Mountain Dews then I should be able to give up chocolate - NOT. I think I would be a lot thinner if I did. I would rather have chocolate though I guess than be thinner. hahahah

    by quincysmom at 06/28/11 7:24AM
  • mjintexas
    Here's hoping you find a good ice cream substitute! And now I want ice cream too. :-P
    by mjintexas at 06/28/11 7:33PM
  • aleta
    Ah, dieting. I doth knock at me always!
    by aleta at 06/29/11 7:36AM
  • mockinbird
    I'm interested in your anti-inflammatory diet. Can you give me the Cliff Notes about it?
    by mockinbird at 06/30/11 9:40AM
  • holly_ann
    I need to get back on the diet, too. I ate goat cheese tonight- that's progress, right?
    by holly_ann at 07/10/11 10:16PM
  • holly_ann
    by holly_ann at 07/19/11 8:56AM
  • chickadee
    I am doing okay - good moments and bad moments. (you don't want to know the ratio.) How about you? I went to a grief group with a friend today. Now if I could only get to a good caregiver's group.
    by chickadee at 07/28/11 11:39PM

Why I like winter

I hear alot of complaining about winter - snow, cold weather, etc. And that's fine, its certainly not for everyone. I really love having all four seasons. And, lately I've been noticing all the reasons I really like winter best.

I"m a home body - prefer to be snuggly in my house rather than outside. In the winter that's perfectly acceptable.

I love the comfort foods of winter - stews, soups, chili, cookies and pies baking in the oven

I prefer winter clothes over summer clothes - turtle necks, sweaters, dressing in layers.

I love coats and shoes - don't like shorts and sandels so much

I prefer snow sports over water sports. Public pools, beaches are not on our list of places to go. Don't care for swimming. But LOVE sledding and ice skating. I even love shoveling snow and cleaning off snow covered cars, especially when a beautiful snow is falling.

I find it easier to warm up than to cool off, and much more enjoyable.

Then, just when the cold is getting annoying and the snow is dirty, spring comes. Those beautiful tiny little buds on the trees and bushes are so CUTE! The flowers are beautiful and hearing the birds singing is such a treat.

And, summer, with its green grass, beautiful flowers and trees is wonderful. And just short enough to be bearable, to lead into...

Beautiful Autumn.

God has given us such beauty - wherever we are. Well, I guess I don't have a favorite - its ALL wonderful!
  • split_rock
    I'll ditto all you said -- except I'm not much on the winter sports anymore either -- too cold, and I never could stand up on ice skates!
    by split_rock at 03/02/11 5:34AM
  • telly
    I agree! I love it when it snows although by this time I am looking forward to warmer weather too but I think it is mainly because having a newborn means you can't go out and play in the snow.
    by telly at 03/02/11 8:19AM
  • quincysmom
    Love this post!
    by quincysmom at 03/02/11 9:51AM
  • mockinbird
    I never minded winter until I returned to the work force and had to get out in it every day. I think snow is beautiful but only from the comfort of my home. So I can understand your attraction to it. And I DO love a good soup on a frosty day.
    by mockinbird at 03/02/11 2:44PM
  • chickadee
    It is so good to hear from you. I think this winter was not so bad. Do you suppose that has anything to do with with the fact that I was unable to drive? LOL
    by chickadee at 03/02/11 4:10PM
  • alp1926
    Good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and the family.
    by alp1926 at 03/05/11 9:54AM
  • bestill
    Did you get home alright? Again, I am so glad I got to meet you!
    by bestill at 03/05/11 9:42PM
  • granny
    I'm glad you are where each season has its own flavour. What a treat.
    by granny at 03/19/11 2:59PM
  • alp1926
    Yes, there's excitement in the air. Her shower in Dayton is this weekend. Hannah and I plan to leave Friday afternoon/evening to go down there.
    by alp1926 at 03/30/11 6:07AM

A new word (to me)


Normally, I would stay away from a word like that. Sounds a little, extreme. But, a friend on facebook shared a deal on Minimalist eBooks, along with his comment saying "if you're looking to simplify your life, check these out".

Simplify my life - yes! So I checked out the deal, bought the eBooks, and liked the idea.

I started throwing out the word "Minimalist" to Don, who would very much love to simplify his life, but would run from a word like Minimalist.

I then cleaned out my dresser and nightstand and ended up with a large garbage bag full of garbage and a large garbage bag full of donations. I also cleaned out under Don's side of the bed and had similar results.

Got a call from Don asking me if there is anything I would like to have. I asked why, and he said he wanted to buy me something special as a thank you for all the organizing I've been doing. That was very sweet, and a little shocking. Not because he wanted to buy me something nice, but because he was reacting positively to my organizing. It usually makes him very nervous.

Saturday I cleaned out our closet - 2 large garbage bags of garbage, 5 of donations.

Well, there's A LOT more to go, but I'm pretty happy with the results of the minimizing of STUFF so far.

In other news, we've replaced the roof on our house, had a lot of landscaping done, had carpets cleaned, Don painted trim/porch, finally got Leela's new bed.

I just spent about an hour catching up on the 40 posts I had missed. Hi to all my friends!

Things are very busy at work - our company is growing fast, and with it we're going through some growing pains, but its nice to be busy. I'll be traveling again soon - blah.

OK - so back to my Minimalist eBooks - I'm supposed to write down my dreams. Dreams are big - far reaching. (The last time Don and I did something like this was at least 25 years ago, and it came creeping back into our conciousness that one of Don's dreams was to see the pyramids - and he actually did that in February). Anyway, I've got a big dream, one that I can't really fatham, but something I really want... Do you think it will happen?
  • quincysmom
    WOW! I am impressed! You have been SO busy and productive! What a great feeling! I want to know what your big dream is!!!!!!!!
    by quincysmom at 10/18/10 8:15AM
  • jerzgirl
    Congrats! Decluttering/simplifying/organizing is a wonderful journey and a wonderful accomplishment! Good for you and Don!
    by jerzgirl at 10/18/10 9:22AM
  • mockinbird
    Love that word and it's concept. I too, am trying to downsize my possessions. My motto is Less is More.
    by mockinbird at 10/19/10 11:15AM
  • granny
    No, the photo is borrowed. I have never been to Kenya. Wish I could....
    by granny at 10/21/10 1:34PM
  • alp1926
    Thanks. We think she's found a good one!!
    by alp1926 at 10/21/10 4:28PM
  • mjintexas
    I really love cleaning out. It's a continual process at my house. I'm fine with having things and stuff if I USE them. But if I don't, out they go.
    by mjintexas at 10/23/10 1:07AM
  • iloveponds
    Love your post and it motivates me to head in the same direction. I keep having good intentions but they need actions!
    by iloveponds at 10/23/10 6:16PM
  • alp1926
    Would you believe that I am absolutely sore this morning. Arms and legs, and it's all from tugging at 58 pounds of dog!!!! I need to get back to the gym.
    by alp1926 at 11/07/10 7:19AM
  • split_rock
    Happy New Year!
    by split_rock at 01/01/11 5:47AM
  • dsh
    Thank you. Linda!
    by dsh at 01/13/11 11:48PM
  • kaceyatthebat
    True. We're planning an American Girl Doll and store trip for birthday #6.
    by kaceyatthebat at 01/14/11 8:55AM
  • chickadee
    Been a while since you posted. (hint, hint) How are you?
    by chickadee at 01/29/11 6:55PM
  • didow
    Hi Linda, Thanks for your interest in the website and blog. I am in the process of changing some things over to my new blog but the whole family has been sick this week and I missed a deadline. I will work on getting the files you're talking about moved to my new location this weekend. I'll let you know when it's done. Was there anything in particular you were wanting?

    by didow at 02/25/11 2:58PM
  • didow
    I got the pop-up book online again so you can check it out. The miscellaneous activities are working on uploading and should be done before the day is out. I've got a really slow internet connection right now and it is taking its sweet time loading this stuff.
    by didow at 02/26/11 3:42PM