Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe Joys of Simplifying

I've shared that I realized a few months ago that my hobby was robbing our family of one of our favorite pastimes: leafing through photo albums and telling stories. I have made a brutal choice to SIMPLIFY my life and that means, in the photo department, that I WILL get all the photos that are in magnetic albums (or now on the hard drive) into photo safe albums. My goal is to preserve memories and I do lot of journaling - even in the old magnetic albums.

With my goal in mind, and some hand holding from local friends, I packed away the die cuts, papers, stickers and such....and began to ::gasp:: affix photos to those beautiful huge albums and write the story...that's IT - plain and simple. Yes, I LOVED scrapping...but I don't have time in this season for photos to be a huge endeavor. At a time in life when I have time for crafting....I can revisit this choice.

The family has heard this discussion between Mike and me. It is SAD that our littles don't sit around and thumb through albums. They see me leave each month with another magnetic album or two and hear that I'm transferring the photos. I have 4 albums transferred and 30 albums left to go; and 6 years of photos on the hard drive or in boxes. ::sigh::

I'm not sure what brought this on, but last night the younger ones discovered how fun it is to look through albums.

Krista and Zander were EXTREMELY close when she left home. He was 4 years old. He pulled out an album that had lots of photos of Krista. He finally looked up and said with a deep sigh, "These are pictures from when Krista was my lover". ::snort::
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Mike introduced Nolan to his Great Grandmother.
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We had another photo of the 5 younger ones and Mike gathered around looking at an album - but it showed a bit too much skin. I'd hate to lose my R rating. ::snort::

Mike mentioned that several of the albums were falling apart and all are yellowed...yep, it's time to simplify and get this job done....and if the photos were in organized boxes I wouldn't want them to look at them.....and it would take me just as long to scrap them.... it really is best for US for me to get them into new albums quickly.

It was a confirmation to hear them asking questions about times before they were born and remembering their early years. That's my goal for photos..... It really made my evening to walk in and find this.

It caused me to think again about how often we hate the idea of giving something dear to us up, but when God calls us to do that, we reap blessings.

I KNOW some of you think this is silly, but it was hard to realize I didn't have time for this hobby right now... We all make choices about how to spend our time. In the past two years I DRASTICALLY cut back mininstry outside my home (at church, homeschool groups, and even places like yahoo groups) in order to effectively minister inside our home. Most my hobbies revolve around friends, teaching studies, and family (geocaching - blog) etc. I don't have time to keep a blog and scrapbook. I hope to have time to affix photos and keep a blog. LOL The blog is first because it exists for our grown children to be able to be an integral part of our day to day life.

I guess in all these choices I'm seeing that often when I THINK I'm sacrificing it turns out to be a huge blessing anyway. ::snort:: Scrapping is just the silly tool that God has learned to teach me this lesson. Well, one of the tools....

I want to encourage you that if God calls you to give something up, there is always a purpose and a blessing to be had somewhere in the giving. Sure, I miss teaching four studies a week, I miss my creative outlet, I miss being more involved in a local support group…..but ah the peace of having my home in order.

{Note - this post is not about the ills of scrapping - scrapping only serves to illustrate the lesson that I'm learning. My attitude is not at all judgmental to those of you who have the time and feel it a priority to scrap - not at all. You go for it! In fact you make lay outs and I'll buy them and insert my photos. ::snort:: It's just not where I'm at in this season....and after last night and seeing the fun the kids had - I'm at PEACE with not being the perfect mother with the perfect scrapbooks, who can lead perfectly inspiring inductive Bible Studies. Really, it's about much more than scrapping. I'm at peace with the choices to cut back on ministry and activities, to simplify for this season, for the sake of the upbrining we want our little ones to enjoy. It just took seeing their faces as they pawed (poured or would that be pored) over the old albums, to bring it all home}.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket We're SO Excited

When our Alaskan PFD (oil money) arrived we were able to purchase the rest of our books for TOG. Wow - ordering off season is great. We ordered on the 7th. They shipped our order on the 7th and it arrived the day after the holiday weekend.

Time is of the essence during this season of my life and Mike suggested I go ahead and buy all the books I needed to go with the redesign. (I'd used the library extensively our first time through). Here are the books for Year 1 - until 2 - 4 that we didn't already own.
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We've not had ALL the books we need for a school year on our shelves since we left Sonlight years ago. This is really exciting for us. We'll continue to use the library. We LOVE our library... I didn't buy all the Lower Grammar books. I did buy all the Rhetoric and Dialectic. Those are my children that run ahead of us. This way I can have confidence that they are reading books that have been carefully selected - rather than a book that was the ONLY book on the Ancient Celts that I could find.

I was surprised at how eager Jared and Jamin were to see these books.
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Until I saw the titles were "Warfare of the Classical World" and "Ancient Greek War and Weapons". Both say these are just what they need to research for the books they are writing.

Glad to be of service guys, just remember you WANTED these books when you are up to your eyebrows in reports and charts. ::snort::
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Bread Making or One of Those Days

Yesterday was just one of those days around here.

I'm moderator of the week on SHS and that always takes a bit of time on my week.

Mike is sick and I've been off. I'm thinking that I see a cycle on these migraines and I'd best get a LOT done in two weeks so that I can take it easier the next two weeks. Maybe they're gone forever....I'm praying.

One thing that I HAD to do yesterday, because the freezer was depleted after my migraine marathon, was get some bread baked. I share this as an example of my day. ::snort::

Let's bake bread:

Oh yeah, we're out of grain.

BUT our annual grain order came in.

ARGH - Mike was sick, the boys were busy, the grain is still in the van.
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We interupted life to unload the van and arrange the grain - good to go for another year.
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These are the grains I use for bread - Soft White, 7 Grain and, Prairie Gold (Hard White)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Of course all the lids had to be pried off the buckets of grain. The grain had to be poured into my olde buckets with the Gamma Seals. Yes, it would be cheaper to buy by the bag but I worry about BUGS and I worry about moving. Moving companies will not move sacks of grain. I'm tired of having to give ALL my grain away with each move. The thought is that I can at least take a bucket of each if we get surprise orders. I'd rather pay more up front than have to lose it all at the other end.

I got the bread in the oven and had to run Jamin to the Oral Surgeon for his recheck. I came home to this:
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I got out the grain buckets again! ::snort:: and ground more grain.

I managed to get the loaves in the oven before I had to leave for Bible Study. This time I left strict instructions to turn the loaves on their sides so that they wouldn't collapse in on themselves while they cooled.

Ah this is better!
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Meanwhile, I began to wonder about bread bags. I use the cheapie gal size bread bags that I can buy at Walmart or the commissary. 75 bags for less than a dollar. They say bread bags, they have twist ties. On a local list someone asked about bread bags and there is an order going out to Urban Homemaker. I LOVE Marilyn at Urban Homemaker. WHAT have I been missing. I had to run to the web to check it out. I'm not sure about these bags. They cost way more. Are the better in some way? Anyone used them? They are longer but narrower...and I have trouble getting my bread into the bags as it is. Well....when I use the Pampered Chef stone pans - which I like to do. I need to buy bread bags from UH?

We used the crumpled bread for french toast and toast this a.m. It tasted GOOD - just sad looking. I use this recipe and add cinnamon/sugar or Italian Spices and garlic etc.

That was ONE thing I accomplished yesterday. Every SINGLE thing I tried to do went the same way. ::snort::

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Tuesday....

My appt for today got changed to Friday, so I have time to update the blog. I've been headache free for 2 full days now! Yes! Of course, the temptation is not to call the doc now - but I will. It's on my list.

We simply continue to finish up projects this week. Mike is better. He was still sick yesterday. He went in to sick call. He obviously has the flu but the doc sent him to work. He didn't make it through the day. He must be feeling well now as he's not come home.

Bible study last night - two more weeks of our study on Being a Confidant Woman. I'm gearing up to teach a week or two on various Bible Study methods and then we'll work through the book of Ephesians. I'm still not sure what material I'll get for the "homework" for ladies or if I'll make my own. We shall see.

I'll just post photos of the rest of the day.
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