Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Projects & Procrasting Perfectionism

Here's a picture of my laundry room taken in March, just after Easter. We installed Pergo's wood laminate flooring through out the laundry, kitchen and dining rooms. (Carpet in a dining room is ALWAYS a bad idea)

Laying the flooring down was a fairly quick project taking us a day and a couple evenings to complete.

The thing about projects is that you always seem to be short on something and it's usually money or time.... OR... money and time. In this instant, it's time.

And then there's another condition that hinders progress- procrastinating perfectionism.

What? You've never heard of it? Oh! It's REAL! Trust me! It's a condition by which one procrastinates because one desires to do the job perfectly but knows that there's not enough time available to complete the perfect job. And so the procrastination begins... putting off the job until there's enough time to finish the job perfectly. Of course, there's NEVER enough time! And that's the fuel for the cycle.

Here's another view from the end of March.

It looks very nice now but the reality is... the project is NOT finished. The stairway is now painted but there's still wallpaper to be hung. There's still baseboard and quarter round to be installed. Eventually it will be complete (emphasis on EVENTUALLY!).

This is what it looks like today.

Oh! You can't see much, you say? Well... that's because housework has also fallen victim to procrastinating perfectionism!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Settling in

What an awesome pony! She's all heart when it comes to the kids. And she's settling in wonderfully here. She very quickly learned the feed time chorus... nickering & calling to us right along with the others.

After spying Meah and Pholly grooming each other over the gate that divides one lot from the pasture, we decided it was time to integrate her into the herd. Pholly was exactly the individual I hoped would bond with Meah. Pholly keeps "GoofBall" pony in his place and I can count on her to keep order in the herd.

We discovered this week that Meah is in her element when outside for a leisure ride. She never batted an eyelash about being away from the herd or about exploring an area of our property new to her.

Happy pony... Happy kiddos... Happy Mom!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Bugs! Aren't they interesting? Even more interesting is our response to them.

Yesterday we were driving into town when She-With-Once-Skinned-Knee and Hair-Tied-In-Knots discovered a bug present in the back seat with them.

Now I need to stray for a moment to tell you that our girls are not typical girls... at least, not always. Yes, they play dolls & dress-up, love clothes and girl things and are EMOTIONAL... but our girls also chase frogs in the mud, muck horse stalls, help load & unload hay, want to learn basic plumbing, help My-Good-Man-Charlie-Brown with mechanical repairs... etc. You're getting the idea...

So there's two of my girls in the backseat... who not more than 24 hours prior to this point had been wading thru slimy, swampy waters catching frogs... and there's this bug!

Being the devoted mother, I peeked in the rear view mirror to assess the danger said bug might present to my two precious girls. It was a little bigger than a firefly but with the same basic shape & style. It's legs were a bit spidery but not excessively so. It appeared harmless 'tho admittedly, I wouldn't want him ON me.

Since it's finally warm in this region of the world, we opened the windows. Maybe friend, Bug, would decide to depart using the nearest exit. She-With-Once-Skinned-Knee and Hair-Tied-In-Knots took up watch duty over the location and activities of Bug.

Suddenly... and I MEAN SUDDENLY... I hear a gasp- not a scream- and Hair-Tied-In-Knots appears to be in great distress. I mean... she looks like she's coming out of her booster seat and seat-belt. I also can't tell whether she's trying to scream, laugh or cry. That is followed by a shuddering plea for help... "THE.... BUG.....is... OOOOON MEEEEEEEE!!!"

Apparently I'm NOT the devoted mother I thought I was just moments prior because the inexplicable urge to laugh was overwhelming. And now Industrious-One and She-With-Once-Skinned-Knee are laughing. Meanwhile Hair-Tied-In-Knots is frozen in a frightened state and seems to be laughing and crying at the same time.

I know! I shouldn't have laughed. And maybe I should have pulled over. Now no one knows where Bug is. Hair-Tied-In-Knots is convinced that it's now under her. She-With-Once-Skinned-Knee is now cracking jokes about butts and bugs (I told you...not typical girls). Of course, the jokes now send Hair-Tied-In-Knots into fits of belly laughing.

We arrived at our destination intact. I apologized to my wee daughter for laughing at her predicament and gave her some extra hugs & kisses. She had recovered and was back to her usual jovial self.

Bug remained in the vehicle for several more hours. Presumably, he'd found a suitable hiding place. Hours later, while returning our video rentals, Bug flew out the window. Hair-Tied-In-Knots exclaimed, "Farewell Tom!" We didn't know his name was Tom. I guess we missed that moment of communication in our moment of laughter.


Monday, April 21, 2008

For Crying OUT LOUD!



You WIN Blogger!

I feel like I've had so much to say since my last post on Tuesday, April 15th. I tried to post on Wednesday and was sent into some eternal loop of frustration.... "your publish is taking too long to publish. Click here to continue waiting".... or something very close to that (I OUGHT to have that memorized by now)!

I've been posting all of my blog posts via ftp to my own webhosting site. Alas, I'm not the only ftp'er who has been sucked into the vortex of "...taking too long. Click here to wait...". I've given in to Blogger for now and am publishing via blogger's hosting... until, that is... the problem is fixed OR I find a new home for my blog.

Here's the other picture I TRIED to post in my Behind the Barn post.

Hope this works!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Got Skills?

Pardon the interuption to this post... you'll find my blog at nibbynosing.blogspot.com.... Back to your regularly scheduled post... previously aired!

I've got skills... or at least, I am getting skills! But my Dad keeps telling me, "You've got skills!"

This afternoon my task was to finish hanging drywall in a kitchen remodel we're working on. My Industrious One volunteered her muscles to help me since my-Good-Man-Charlie-Brown had to work late at his day job. (Plus, she says she "loves power tools!") No problem! I have skills!

Only one concern- a section behind the temporary sink we've installed. The sink would have to be unhooked in order to cut and hang the drywall. So I spoke to Dad on the phone and told him that I planned to measure and cut that piece but wouldn't be able to put it in place until the sink was unhooked. Dad's response?

"You can do that! You have skills!" :)

He then proceeded to explain to me what I needed to do. Now, I do have a little bit of plumbing knowledge and experience... all thanks to Dad!... so I told him I'd give it a try. I saved that piece for last... maybe I wouldn't get to it. But when you're working with my Industrious One, you get stuff done! Before I knew it, there was that section! It was the only place left and there's no way I was going to leave the job undone!

So I tackled the job! Unhooked the sink and drain, measured, cut and installed the drywall, put the sink back in place, hooked up the drain and hooked up the water. Voila! Job done! As it turns out, Dad was right! I've got skills! :)

Funny too! While I was cleaning up the work area, I thought to myself, "Gee! That's all it took was for Dad to say, 'You can do it', to give me the confidence to at least try.

It is amazing what you can accomplish when you have someone encouraging you, cheering you on, and telling you, "YES! You CAN do it."

As I am writing this, "Hell's Kitchen" is on. I'm not sure it is good quality entertainment (it isn't truly) really but it's background noise right now. What a stark contrast to the very thing I'm writing. Chef Ramsey seems to have no qualms about ripping, tearing and devouring his "apprentices". There is very little praise, very little encouragement but MUCH negative, derogatory interaction.

It's not just on TV that I've encountered that negative, destructive approach to teaching, educating and training people. Sadly, it's common. I remember overhearing an exasperated woman tell her frustrated daughter to "just quit then!" I wanted to scream "NO! You CAN DO IT! Keep trying!"

What was that woman thinking? I've been told by some that some people need that kind of motivation to get them going. You know... it's like the "I'll show her!" mentality. Well... I suppose you might see a momentary spark of determination to "show them." Still... I am convinced that the damage done to a person's confidence, spirit and mentality far outweighs any benefit that moment of rebellious determination produced.

I wonder what would happen if Chef Ramsey were to tell the gentleman who couldn't recite the dessert menu, "You CAN do it! I know you can! You were chosen to be on this show because You CAN! You've got what it takes!" Well... I guess it wouldn't be "HELL'S Kitchen" anymore would it? And he wouldn't have fired the guy either. But isn't it sad that we're entertained by the destruction of another person's spirit?

Because my parents believed in us... because they always told us to do our best- that's all they expected (win or lose, succeed or fail)... because they still tell me "You CAN do it!'... because they walk beside us, encourage us... they feed us positive reinforcement... because they don't squash our dreams but cheer us on.... they encourage us to try new things, give it all we've got and motivate us to learn.... just some of the reasons........

I've got SKILLS!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shopping with the Girls

Girls! Three of them plus myself = FOUR!

I've been putting off a necessary clothes shopping trip for several weeks now. Today turned out to be the perfect day. Oh you can only imagine how quick my girls moved when I told them we were going on that shopping trip. It was one of the few times they were prepared to leave before I was!

So! Shopping with three young ladies! You might wonder what that is like. Imagine having 10 windows open on your computer and they are all beeping at you- waiting for you to respond. That's just a small taste! It's a bit of a whirlwind. More than once I was heard saying, "Wait! I can't think!" LOL

Honestly, it is fun to see another facet of their individual personalities come out. They are old enough to start making their own choices about what they would like to wear. It was fun to watch them pawing thru the clearance racks... finding great deals even! Yep! They even look at the tags to see what the price tag is. Not only that... a few times they decided on their own that the price wasn't good and put the item back.

We found some great deals and they all came home with some much needed new duds!

The best part of the day? Back home again, every girl tried on her new attire. She-With-Skinned-Knee had picked out a shirt for me off a clearance rack. It's a nice shirt and was only $2. I tried it on and Industrious-One says, "Oh Mom! That looks GREAT! You look like you're 15!"

Clothes for 3 girls- $... um... let's not talk about that
Shirt off clearance rack- $2
Having your soon-to-be teenage daughter declare you young and hip- PRICELESS!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Foot-in-Mouth disease

Aunt Jackie recently blogged about this very thing. I swear, it is a hereditary disease that affects entire families... passed from one generation to the next! It didn't skip me- that's for sure!

I call it "Foot-in-Mouth" disease... not to be confused with the fungal Foot AND Mouth disease.

The symptoms are consistent. One finds themselves chatting away with some unsuspecting soon-to-be victim. Suddenly the unsuspecting victim has a look of shock or horror or worse- extreme hurt- on their face. And then the painful realization that thy foot is stuffed in thy mouth!!! ACK!!! In extreme cases, both feet are painfully stuffed in the mouth of the disease ridden carrier. And words cannot be spoken well with lower appendages filling one's oral cavity.

In one incident, a lovely couple came to our home to purchase a horse from us. They are wonderful people and we completely enjoyed visiting with them and showing them our beloved horses. One subject led to another and suddenly I found myself gabbing about the dangers of mangers in horse trailers. I saw a look pass from wife to husband... I remember mentally noting that look. Was that a yellow light or was it a RED light? And did I just run that RED light? Hmmmm....

The couple was delighted with the horse they'd come to see and purchased the horse. They'd driven all morning from another state with the intention of purchasing so had their trailer in tow.
OH! You see where this is going, don't you? Go ahead- LAUGH! You guessed it. They opened up the trailer for me to load the horse in and there before my eyes... MANGERS!!!

Oh dear! I'm afraid I had both boots in my mouth. I immediately acknowledged my faux pas! Acknowledgment followed by sincere apologies. Really! I meant no harm. I swear! "I have a condition!" LOL It's Foot-in-Mouth disease. Everyone had a good laugh and this lovely couple forgave me my indiscretion. They've even continued to stay in touch and seem to genuinely like me. That's GRACE for ya!

But I believe there's an even worse side to this disease- and I do think it's tied in with the affliction somehow. It's being misunderstood.

I often think I am clearly communicating my ideas only to discover that I was either clear as mud or that I communicated something totally unintended. OH! This is a grievous part of the Foot-in-Mouth disease. It happens when I am least prepared and causes immediate sobbing upon the realization that my disease has struck again.

Just yesterday I had a flare-up. I, out of sincere caring and concern, had posted a thread on a forum I love with the intention of the thread serving as safety education- much like a discussion in fire safety- STOP, DROP, ROLL! I should have stopped, dropped and rolled because very soon I discovered I'd started a fire. And worse, the family that was being burned has endured such HORRIBLE heartache in the last year that I have weeped over their pain. I NEVER would have desired to cause them more pain.

This is the painful- mortifying- absolutely gut wrenching, heart bruising part of Foot-in-Mouth disease. I sobbed and lost some sleep but not before a FULL apology and (I PRAY) a clear explanation of my actual intent.

::Sob:: Choke:: Sniff::Sigh::

Extend grace to those of us afflicted with this disease. There appears to be no cure - only disease control!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our little star falls

Beautiful Monday here... ends in the ER. LOL

A sign of spring maybe! Kiddos with skinned knees, bumps & bruises!

Our little star was hanging upside down from the recliner... "trying to grab a blanket"... when she tried to pull herself back up, she instead went tumbling down. A battle ensued with the piano and the piano won!

So as mommy is holding her sobbing star, she is dutifully trying to locate the bump that MUST be there. What mommy wasn't looking for was blood, but she found it. So daddy sent us off to the ER as it was difficult to ascertain the depth of the short, bleeding gash.

Thank goodness for Gram & GDude! Our little star's emotions went out of the galaxy when she heard mommy was taking her to see a dr. But the stars re-aligned themselves when she heard that Gram & GDude would meet her there. Mommy's heart gave a HUGE sigh of relief.

All said, Little Star didn't need stitches. Instead, the genius Dr took a little hair from one side of the wound and a little hair from the other side of the wound and tied the hair in a knot over the wound. Genius! And lest you think we got an ER quack... we know this particular doctor. He is the surgeon our other little cherub was a patient of years ago. That little cherub is sporting skinned knees tonight! (Completely separate incident- Mommy seemed tied to the nurse's hat today)

And yet... there exists no whine in me tonight! The sun was shining and it was WARM!!!

And now sleep beckons... tomorrow is a new day!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun Friday Foto

Look who's talking now!
Tell me what you think she's saying!!
Come on! I know you guys are creative!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A moment in the spotlight!

Feeling like a star!
The picture of her reading to Milton was
included in the Sonlight catalog.
It's a big deal folks! :)

Our catalog arrived yesterday. The anticipation of the Sonlight catalog arriving in your mailbox is a BIG deal in "Sonlight land". Truly! It's a bit like tracking Santa Claus across the globe on Christmas Eve. I knew it was getting close as several others in my state of residence had received theirs, but mine hadn't arrived. I actually thought maybe the lady in the post office was enjoying my copy. My copy was finally released to my box yesterday.

With all of that anticipation, you would think it would have been the first thing on my to-do list. Sadly, it fell by the wayside (GASP!) until this evening.

I had entered a picture of our youngest reading her reader to Milton for the cover photo contest. It wasn't chosen but I was excited to see that it made the inside of the catalog. And now my baby gets a moment in the spotlight.

It's not always easy living in the shadow of older siblings - I wouldn't know! I AM the older sibling. You'd have to ask my brother his opinion. He'll tell you I'm NOT the boss of him. I have finally accepted that. LOL It took a lot of reminding on his part... years! Many years!!!

I am not sure how you temper the oldest child- first born- syndrome. I am constantly in conversation about being bossy with our oldest child. I feel her pain. The simple fact is that she has been given great leadership qualities. She takes responsibility very seriously and is a hard worker. I often remind her (but haven't in a while... maybe I need to reiterate this again) that our strongest characteristics can also be our biggest downfall.

I feel unequipped to guide my oldest child into the best part of who she is. I can only pray that the Lord fills the gap between my shortcomings and her best. It's that way for all of my children. The responsibility of being a parent is weighty and not for the faint hearted, that's for sure!

However, today was easy! The spotlight was for our girl who was feeling overshadowed. The timing couldn't have been more perfect-- that's God! Just in time!


Today I began reading a new book to our oldest daughter called Caddie Woodlawn. The book is written by Carol Ryrie Brink and just two chapters in, we're finding it a delightful book to read (as 99% of the books that are part of the Sonlight Curriculum have been).

An interesting comment by the author in her note to the readers caught my attention. She said,
Caddie was still alive while I was writing, and I sent many letters to her, asking about the details that I did not remember clearly. She was pleased when the book was done. "There is only one thing that I do not understand," she said. "You never knew my mother and father and my brothers- how could you write about them exactly as they were?"

"But Gram," I said, "you told me."

That really struck me because I believe the phenomenon of knowing someone can absolutely occur without having actually met the person "in real life" as we say. As I read the blogs of those I frequent, I truly begin to feel that I know these ladies. You might feel this way about me, 'tho admittedly, I struggle with being completely transparent. That runs the risk of you seeing things that you won't like about me or seeing things that I don't like about me. There's also the fact that this is a very public forum allowing anyone to read & "know" me... the internet safety issues abound. So those who know me in real life are getting another glimpse into who I am. Those of you who don't, you're just getting a peek. ;) But I digress...

Some of you know that my good-man-Charlie-Brown was diagnosed with hypothyroidism over a year ago. In fact, our doctor now believes that his thyroid is in the process of completely shutting down. You can google hypothyroidism to find out all the gory details but on the living side of this disease is extreme fatigue. The extreme fatigue comes with a multitude of other symptoms that are tough to live. My Charlie-Brown can actually say that he knows what a woman pms'ing feels like. While that makes him understanding to my pms'ing days, I would never wish that on someone.

So I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself the last few days. Charlie-Brown is struggling with being tired all of the time and quite frankly, it's hard for him to not be grumpy. Grumpiness can be a vicious circle. Because he's grumpy, I respond with equal grumpiness which produces further grumpiness on his part. You see the circle? And because he's so doggone tired, things *I* want done aren't. I struggle with patience and grace when the to-do list is longer than I can complete.

My house is in disarray after just installing new laminate flooring. The floor is beautiful and we're THRILLED with that. But there's woodwork EVERYWHERE with brad nails to be removed so it can be re-installed. The door frames are OFF (doors too of course) and all stacked here & there. There's a mound of clean laundry in the middle of my living room floor right now! It's waiting for a folding party. We were going to do that while watching American Idol tonight-- didn't happen. There's a mound of dirty laundry in the doorway of our classroom waiting for another portion to make the trek to the washer. It was piled there when we cleared the laundry room for the new floor. Now that room looks beautiful and I refuse to live with a mound back there. Ha! The mound just moved! I fully intend to conquer it! I DO! REALLY!

I did paint the stairwell tonight while dinner was cooking. I'm still optimistic at heart... always! But, optimism doesn't always squelch self-pity.

Then I ran across the link to another blog. It was a prayer request for the family of one of the members of the Christian group, Selah. You should read it for yourself and I recommend going to the beginning of the blog (oldest post- January 12, 2008) and reading it chronologically forward. You will cry. Your heart will break. You will also be blessed and will have your soul stirred by the moving of the Holy Spirit. Bring The Rain is here.

Sometimes it takes being reminded that your own problems might be small in comparison to what another is facing in their own daily life. Some are just struggling to pull their feet out of bed in the morning. Some like this family are suffering under a tremendous load of grief that threatens to undo them.

I have much more to say but this is enough for now. I'll munch on the rest for a while longer. Really... go check out that blog... see if you're not deeply moved. I know that I will continually be bringing Todd & Angie before The Lord as often as they come to mind.