The Simple Woman’s Daybook – 05.18.2010

Outside my window…the sun is almost up.  I the weatherman is to be believed, we could be in for some big storms this afternoon.

I am thinking…about what I'd like the possible family photo shoot we might do this summer to look like.  I'm so over the black or white shirt and jeans thing.  I want color!  My first thought was turquoise and browns, with a bit of red and maybe some cheetah print thrown in.  Tom was a bit horrified surprised by that.  I'm thinking perhaps turquoise, a bright green and browns now.  Thankfully, I've got time to plan.

I am hearing…Caleb and Hanna sniffling.  All of our allergies seem to be going nuts this week.

I am thankful for…two more weeks of school, less than a month until Mom and Dad get here for a little visit, 5 weeks until I see my nephews again, options…knowing that God is always there, leading and preparing us.  And that even though we walk through trying days, we do so as a strong family seeking God's will.

I am praying for…God's will – clear and strong.

Toward a healthier me….six days of exercise this last week and two were at the gym.  And yet, my weight was up (less than a pound) and my measurements didn't change at all for the first time.  A little frustrating, but I know I wasn't eating as well as I need to be last week (stress!).  I've also become convinced that my green smoothies are vital – not sure if it's the concentration of fruits and veggies or the coconut oil, but weeks where I drink them every morning for breakfast are weeks that I feel better and lost more consistently.  Even if it's not in smoothie form, I do eat a lot of fresh greens (and other fruits and veggies), so I'm sort of leaning toward the coconut oil.  Still working on a blog post on it's wonders.

Inspiring me this week…this quote:

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.
~Charles C. West
I am feeling very much "on the cusp" right now.

From the learning rooms…two more weeks to go.  History is, well, history.  We're working on some techniques to help Caleb with writing control.  Hanna has finally taken her area and circumference of circles test.  I'm ready for a rest.

From the kitchen…this week's meal plan can be seen here.  I'm also planning a couple of baking/fill the freezer days for this weekend.  Check back Thursday to see what I'm hoping to accomplish.

I am wearing…pajamas still. 

I am creating… a list of photos from the past four weeks to edit and get ready for printing.  If I can do it every month, I feel so much more on top of it!

I am going…to hit the gym at least twice again this week, and add one more weight machine.

I am reading…still reading Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli and my One Year Bible.  I'm also working on a list of books I'd like to read this summer.

Toward a lifelong education… thinking a lot about internet safety and the line between responsible parenting and helicopter parenting.

On keeping home…I'm feeling the need to pare down and clean out.  I know I won't be able to have it all done before our trip to California, but I'm making lists of what all I want done to keep me on track. 

One of my favorite things…hearing a word of confirmation in times of shaky foundations.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  gym, school, a bit of work on layouts, a doctor's appointment or two, a bit of organizing, a haircut.  It's been far, far too long on that last one!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Caleb Shuttle 
Watching the last launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from our front yard.

Have a blessed week!

Read more Daybooks here, where they are graciously hosted by Peggy each week.


The Simple Woman’s Daybook – beginning of May

Outside my window…it's going to be hot again.  I'm not ready for 90's and humidity yet!

I am thinking…about trying to find some more time to scrapbook

I am hearing…it's quiet.  Too quiet. 

I am thankful for…the last month of school, God's grace, His continued provision, that our trip to visit family is less than two months away.

I am praying for…a mortgage modification, which would go so far towards relieving my stress.  For answers to the writing issues Caleb's having.  For a quiet month before the craziness of June.

Toward a healthier me….I'm officially down 25 pounds since the day after Thanksgiving.  It hasn't been easy or fast, but it's going down.  Still another 40 to go before I'm back to where I was when I got sick last Spring.   I was thrilled to try on my favorite skirt from last spring on Sunday morning and find that it actually fit again!

Inspiring me this week…this quote:

Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity.  Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.  Marcus Tullius Cicero

So much to think about in those few words.

From the learning rooms…history will be done this week.  Caleb is cruising through multiplication and Hanna is nearly done with her math book.  Yesterday, school took about an hour.  I need to find a little something extra to add in.

From the kitchen…this week's meal plan can be seen here, but I'm feeling very bored with our meals lately.  I need to spend a little time searching out some new recipes.

I am wearing…navy blue t-shirt and khaki shorts. 

I am creating… new scrapbook listings for eBay and starting on my summer lists.  We'll be heading to California for part of June and much of July, and there's so much to do!

I am going… to the UMw Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show on Saturday as the guest of a very dear lady.  I'm a little bit excited about it =)

I am reading…still reading Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli and my One Year Bible.  I also pulled out Into Thin Air like I have this time every year since I bought it in 1997 (I think).  Tom keeps asking if I think the ending will change =P

Toward a lifelong education… working on a post about soy products and why we don't eat them (unless they're traditionally fermented).  It's been quite a bit more work than I anticipated!

On keeping home…for some reason, we've got an extra twin mattress that has made it's way into the living room and taken up residence there for the last few days.  It's kind of driving me nuts, but the kids have been playing on it like crazy and I'm hesitant to remove anything that encourages play without fighting!

One of my favorite things…new scrappy supplies.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  middle school youth tonight, church on Wednesday, the gym once or twice, the Spring Luncheon on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


Caleb and one of his Sunday School teachers for the past two years, Mr. Chuck.  Mr. Chuck and his wife, Miss Kate, are pretty humble about it but they've made an incredible impact on the life of this little boy.  It's one that will have an eternal impact and I am so very grateful for them.

Have a blessed week!

Read more Daybooks here, where they are graciously hosted by Peggy each week.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 11, 2010

FOR TODAY…January 11, 2010

Outside my window…bright and chilly.  The last week has been crazy cold for central Florida, but we should start a warm up today.

I am thinking…about the Holy Spirit and the Methodist church.  After 5 years of membership, I'm finding the church as a whole neglects the Holy Spirit on a regular basis.  Our pastor even mentioned that he wanted to inspired us all to get more passionate about the Scriptures (or to get some people in them for the first time).  No mention of the Holy Spirit…which sort of bothers me…I find it rather hard to read my Bible and have always considered it to be the Holy Spirit's role to inspire me to dig into them.  Let's be honest.  There are many parts of the Bible that are pretty dry and tedious…I don't think any of us on our own can really get through them.  We need that divine push and encouragement.  I'm not sure why I'm so bothered by this all of the sudden.  

I am thankful for…cold weather coming to an end.  As much as I ponder moving north, I am reminded that I really don't like being cold.

I am praying for…my Mom's first day back to teaching after nearly two months off following hip replacement surgery, a peaceful day at home, focus, God's guidance.

Toward a healthier me….6 more days
of TTapp and I upped to the walking workout – woo hoo!  And I'm down half a pound this week and
another 2.25 inches (nearly 7" total!).   Goals for this week: 5 more TTapp's, a few
bike rides (which the weather should permit this week) and green smoothies.

From the learning rooms…back to school for real this week.  Last week, we reorganized and worked on getting back on track with chores and a few school lessons.  Caleb is starting a science series on magnets, new reading books for everyone and we're focusing on a Vermeer unit.  I think next year, we won't completely stop school for Christmas.

From the kitchen…the freezer finally arrives on Wednesday, but I won't have a chance to really fill it until next weekend.   Our menu plan for the week is here.

I am wearing…charcoal yoga pants, that poor ratty purple tshirt that needs to be retired, and a plum sweatshirt.

I am creating…layouts, layouts and more layouts.  Sales are fairly strong for me right now and I need to take advantage of that!  Also, plans for Hanna's birthday party on Saturday.

I am going…to enjoy the last of my coffee and pray Tom remembers to pick up more filters before he comes home =)

I am reading…Retraining the Brain (still – slow going!) and my chronological One Year Bible.

Toward a lifelong education…I decided on a whim last Wednesday to join a Wednesday night study of  Seeing Grey at church (I'd share a link, but my computer's not cooperating this morning).  So far, it's pretty interesting.  I'm also still digging through Distracted – at this rate, it might take me all year!

I am hearing…chores being finished up.  I'm getting up way too late and need to get my day started earlier for smoother mornings.  It is just so hard when it's cold and dark!

Around the house…it's nice and tidy.  Laundry is reasonable, floors are swept and I feel good going into the week.

One of my favorite things…I think I'm going to get to see the Phantom of the Opera while it's in Orlando.  A friend has connections for group rate tickets and while it's still going to strain our budget a bit, I can handle it.  It's been nearly 20 years since I first saw it…too, too long.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  school, work, school, work, Middle School youth group for Hanna, Wednesday night church for everyone, maybe a trip to see Joseph on Friday and Hanna's birthday party on Saturday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


Icicles on our mailbox Saturday morning.  In five years of living in Florida, that is definitely a first for us!

Have a blessed week!

Read more Daybooks here, where they are graciously hosted by Peggy each week.

Simple Woman’s Daybook: First of 2010

FOR TODAY…January 4, 2010

Outside my window…it is definitely cold out there!  It's currently about 33 degrees, and it's not going to get too much warmer today or for a few days.  Kind of a nice treat for Central Florida!

I am thinking…about this article…having been to Saddleback a few times, it doesn't surprise me that they could come up with that sort of money in 48 hours.  I'm thinking more about the statistics on church budgets and the fact that two thirds of churches did the same or better than they did in 2008, despite the economy. I'm also thinking about how honest and humble it is for a church and it's leadership to be that honest about their financial needs.

I am thankful for…Tom getting up early to exercise with me, energy and clarity after so many months of fuzziness, that we were able to get our dying computer back up long enough to back up the hard drive, good sales, a beginning of the return to normalcy and schedules, and all of this.

I am praying…that Caleb gets through this cold snap without developing bronchitis, that this year of work is less taxing on Tom, for the peace that only God can give.

Toward a healthier me….5 more days of TTapp and a bike ride last week – hooray!  And I'm down 3 pounds and another 2.5 inches.  My eating is definitely back on track, and now I need to keep it that way.  Goals for this week: 5 more TTapp's, a few bike rides and more green smoothies.

From the learning rooms…this is going to be "ease back into it" week.  Both kids haven't been feeling well, so we're starting off slow today and will add more in as the week goes.  I'm starting to plan our Ancient Greece unit.

From the kitchen…maybe a little baking and getting ready for our freezer to finally arrive?  Our menu plan for the weeek is here.

I am wearing…comfy blue sweats and two pairs of socks. 

I am creating…several more custom orders, plans for Hanna's birthday, and starting on a special project for a special someone.

I am going…to get the rest of the Christmas decorations down this week.

I am reading…Retraining the Brain (still) and my chronological One Year Bible.

Toward a lifelong education…still reading Distracted – it's a slow-going book for me.

I am hearing…the news on the TV and Caleb playing.

Around the house…I really, really must sweep today.  The laundry is actually caught up and I intend to keep it that way.  Somewhere around November, we started slacking on our daily chores and I need to make that a priority.

One of my favorite things…we finally got our bedroom cleaned and reorganized, and I'm so happy to have a little reading nook in there now.  It's the perfect place to hang my prints from Laura Ingalls Wilder's house.  I'll share pictures as soon as I get it done.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  back to school, back to schedules, back to normal.  Hanna turns 12 on Saturday, and I'm just a little bit weepy feeling about that.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Hanna - Curls

A favorite picture of my almost 12 year old from a few years ago.  How the time flies!

Have a blessed week!

Read more Daybooks here, where they are graciously hosted by Peggy each week.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook


December 14, 2009

Outside my window…it's foggy and humid.  Ick.   Two more days of this warm weather and then we'll dip back down again.

I am thinking…about the lessons of this last year.  So many hard ones.  So much trust and respect lost.  I'm not sure if any of it can be rebuilt.

I am thankful for…a slower pace until Christmas, that Tom is taking a few weeks off, a season to focus on the birth of the Savior, my children, my family, all of the talented people I call friends who made something amazing happen this weekend.

I am pondering these words…

From the learning rooms…we are scrapping school today.  Too many late nights this weekend and too many exhausted Widlund's.  We'll break up what we were going to do today over the rest of the week.  Focusing on tying up loose ends and some review this week.

From the kitchen…lasagna tonight and that's about as far as I've gotten on the meal planning.  I think I'm going to have to start taking part in Menu Plan Monday if I'm ever going to get back on track with meal planning. 

I am wearing…denim capris and a hand-me-down sage and white striped shirt from Aunt Sue.  I love it when shirts are already worn in =)

I am creating…plans and invitations for Hanna's birthday next month, the rest of our Christmas cards, a menu for Christmas Day, lots and lots of piecings for lots and lots of layouts.

I am going…to finish up the last round of Christmas cards today.  Everything is wrapped except the gifts for grandparents that are waiting on one more thing.  Once the last batch of cards and those gifts are sent, I'll be able to focus on just enjoying the season fully.

I am reading…a book for review that I just can't get enough of.  I'll definitely be on the lookout for the author's other books once I'm done with this one!

I am hoping…to conquer Mount Laundry today.  I'm not sure how one weekend got me so very far behind!

I am hearing…Tom getting the shower going, Caleb playing Wii.  Hanna is still sleeping – it's a very late start to the morning for our family.

Around the house…I think YIKES describes it fairly well.  We didn't get a good cleaning last weekend and didn't do it again this weekend.  It's feeling a little cluttered and messy and I just don't like that.  I'll try to make it more manageable this week, but I've put the family on notice that we're doing a good scrubbing this weekend.

One of my favorite things…sending 45 real Christmas cards with one click.  Hooray for Send Out Cards!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  tame the house, work lots, finish up school before the holidays, stay home as much as possible.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…
Hanna and Caleb B & W Uncropped

The edited photo that went on our Christmas card…I can never wait until the cards arrive to share it!

Have a blessed week!

You can read more Daybooks here, where they are graciously hosted by Peggy each week.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 23, 2009

FOR TODAY… November 23, 2009

Outside my window…it was gray and gloomy this morning, but the sun has burned it all away.  A few more days of 80 degree weather and then we're supposed to dip down into the mid to lower 70's for the rest of the week.

I am thinking… that I need to be more intentional about putting together a home medicine kit – things like Oscillococcinum and Emergen-C.  I had to make a quick trip out last night for a few needs and it ended up costing me far more than I would have liked!

I am thankful for… my Mom (who can talk me out of dark places),  the support and encouragement of my husband, a day with just the boy yesterday, time to create with the girl

From the learning rooms…I had intended to do a short week of school, but with everyone but me not feeling well I think we're going to scrap that idea.  I"ll focus instead on putting the rest of our Advent studies in place for next Monday.

From the kitchen… with everyone not feeling well, I realized I'm out of chicken stock.  There's a pot simmering on the stove and bread rising on the counter for supper.  Pork chops tomorrow night, brinner (breakfast for dinner) on Wednesday and we'll spend Thanksgiving with family.

I am wearing… comfy black yoga pants and my sad, old purple t-shirt.

I am creating… Christmas lists, Advent studies and a wreath, a few new piecings, a calendar for the next 5 weeks.

I am going… to skip the Black Friday shopping frenzy if at all possible!

I am reading… Sense and Sensibility (still), Distracted (fascinating and a bit worrying) and getting ready to start my Advent study this weekend. 

I am praying for… my Mom's surgery tomorrow, peace, hope, a lessening of the financial stress, health.

I am hearing… Tom and the kids have invaded the living room and are watching last night's Next Iron Chef

Around the house… it's a bit of a mess…not too bad, but not where I'd like it to be.  I'm hoping to slowly work on getting it organized this week.

One of my favorite things… A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is on Thursday evening.  Someday, I'm going to do Thanksgiving Snoopy style!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  it's going to be a busy one!  Perhaps it's good we're taking a sick day today.  Tom has a cook out planned for the Skate Park on Wednesday, we'll travel about an hour on Thursday for Thanksgiving, Friday is unload day for the tree lot at church and Saturday is Hanging of the Greens.  I'm also planning to decorate our house on Friday and if I get crazy…I might just get a batch of lekucken going.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

122008 Caleb Page 

Caleb as a page in last year's Christmas production at church.  He gets to reprise the role this year and is so excited.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving week!

Want to read more Daybooks?  Head on over to Peggy's, where she graciously hosts The Simple Woman's Daybook each week.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 2, 2009


November 2, 2009…

Outside my window…it's still dark.  I am desperately wishing for fall, but it doesn't seem to be coming to Florida this year.  Still in the 80's, but feeling closer to 90's. 

I am thinking…about how fragile life is and hugging my kiddos a little tighter.  A little boy was killed Halloween on his way to our church's Trunk or Treat.  It's affecting not only the family of that little boy, but the driver and even our church family.  Many of our parking lot crew were some of the first on the scene.  Continued prayers are appreciated!

I am thankful for…Grandma Fee's visit this weekend, our health and safety, fun packages from Grammy for the kids, God's grace.

I am pondering…when Halloween became an excuse for adults act inappropriately and for little girls to dress up even more inappropriately. 

From the learning rooms…getting back to "normal school" this morning after two crazy weeks.  The kids are each beginning new units (sharks and the plague – I let them pick) and I'm pondering a more official science curriculum for Caleb. 

From the kitchen…slow cooker chicken and potatoes this evening, raviolis tomorrow night and tacos on Thursday.  I'm trying to take it easy on myself for meals this week – so much to get caught up on!  Pondering whether or not we're going to eat at church Wednesday night.  I've been a little disappointed in supper the last few weeks.

I am wearing…still in my pajamas. This time change has me up earlier than usual.

I am creating…layouts, layouts, layouts.  I've got piecings done for 9 layouts…I'm not sure if I can get them all done and listed this week, but I'm sure going to try!  I've also got this week's Wednesday night class to write, and I'm hoping to get the final two weeks readied.

I am going…to start plotting out Christmas this week.  I need to start uploading my address list and making a list of gift ideas.  Grandma Fee visited this weekend and brought our Christmas gifts.  I think there might be a slight chance she'll be back for Christmas, but either way this works out  easier.  I'm just not sure I can resist the temptation to peek! 

I am reading…Christy – Hanna picked it up at the library last week and I remembered loving the television show.  I'm also on the  look out for a new bible study. 

I am hoping…Tom comes home early this afternoon and that the cooler weather they're calling for sticks this time.  I'm also craving some scrappy time – it's been so long since I've scrapbooked anything for myself.  Maybe if I can stay super on top of things this week, I can find a little time next weekend.

I am hearing…morning sounds.  Tom in the shower, the kids doing their chores.  I love mornings like this.

Around the house…it's been an extra-hectic few weeks and I'm looking forward to a little bit of normalcy.  The laundry is finally just about caught up after our trip to St. Simon's Island and the house finally got a good scrubbing this weekend.  Our bedroom needs a big purge, and I'm hoping we can get to that this weekend if we keep to our chores this week.

One of my favorite things…my new little point and shoot camera.  It's been almost 6 months since I had something reliable to shoot with.  It's not my beloved Nikon D70, but it's perfect for my needs right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week: the usual – school each day, church on Wednesday, maybe take in a band competition on Saturday to see some of our youth compete.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Halloween 2

Have a blessed day!

Want to read more Daybooks?  Head on over to Peggy's, where she graciously hosts The Simple Woman's Daybook each week.

Daybook: October 5, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook is graciously hosted by Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook. Visit her to read more Daybooks.

OR TODAY…October 5, 2009

Outside my window…the sun is rising.  An early morning for us.

I am thinking…about schedules (still) and finding one that works for us.  Between homeschooling, business and now developing/teaching a class at church, I've got to get more organized if I have any hope of getting it all done.

I am thankful for…pushing through yesterday so I could start this week on track.  Probably not the most important thing I could be thankful for, but it's the one that first comes to mind.

I am hearing…Caleb cough…and cough and cough and cough.  I think we'll be visiting Dr. Watson today.  Darn.  It's been almost 4 months since we've had a sick kid visit…I think that was a record for us!

I am wearing...denim capris, a white tank and a new pinkish/plum shirt from Old Navy that I paid $4 for.  I love their clearance rack!

I am remembering…how very much I miss my nephews this morning.  Mom posted some pictures from this weekend on her Facebook account and I think they've all grown a foot since we saw them in July!

I am going…to call the doctor's office as soon as they open…and pray they can get us in early.

I am reading…lots of blogs, lots of articles.  Finally finished Not So Fast – and can't recommend it highly enough.   Waiting for a new book to come my way.

I am hoping…to keep on track this week.  I have a general sense of the way I'd like my weekly and daily schedules to go (including taking some sort of Sabbath, whether it's on Saturday or Sunday). 

On my mind…my class at church that starts next Wednesday.  So much to do before I can truly feel prepared!   I need to spend some good time in prayer and Scripture this week!

From the learning rooms…finally starting that dinosaur unit with Caleb today, although depending on how he's feeling that might get rearranged a bit.  Both kids are starting new lit books and math units…and I'm feeling more settled and organized.

Noticing that…my office is getting scary disorganized.  Since moving the computer in, we've all been spending more time in there and it's really showing.  The kids have also been doing a bit of sewing and that's added a whole new level of messy.   I think it's time for a deep cleaning in there.

Pondering these words…from Passionate Homemaking about keeping children in church.  It's such a fine line for children's ministries between engaging children with the Lord and simply entertaining them (do you know how many children's ministries have gaming systems in them now?  that just annoys me to no end!)  It's an interesting topic.  Our kids have always seemed to prefer "big church" to Sunday School and we've been okay with that.  It takes a little training and work to keep them occupied and paying attention, but I think the results will speak for themselves.

From the kitchen…ham steaks and baked mashed potatoes tonight, broccoli cheddar soup tomorrow…no real plans beyond that.  I'm thankful to still have a fairly stocked freezer and pantry to "shop" from.

Around the house…I'm constantly amazed at how Caleb being sick turns this house into a mess.  You'd think things would stay cleaner with him not feeling well, but that's never the case. 

A few plans for the rest of the week…not really wanting to, but I need to go through my closet and dresser.  Time to pack up some things that don't fit and figure out what I need.  I'm hoping to go shopping Wednesday afternoon by myself so that needs to be done today or tomorrow.  I'd also like to go through all of our children's books and organize them by theme (Christmas, sharks, dinosaurs, etc). 

One of my favorite things…feeling caught up, even if it's only for an hour or two.  I'm still working on my "ideal schedule", and working even harder to try to adhere to it a little more.

From my picture journal…


my sweet tea companion.  I think he enjoys it even more than I do – and starts asking how much longer right after lunch.

Have a blessed day!