Category Archives: family

A John Deere Birthday Party and Old Fashioned Party Games!

A number of years ago Arrow chose “John Deere” as the theme for his birthday party.  That didn’t surprise us in the least.  Arrow has been drawn to all things mechanical.  The cake was supposed to look like a farm field with all the tractors.  I placed plastic wrap on the top, where the tractors were placed to keep the wheels free of frosting.  These vehicles were part of Arrow’s gift.  He loved to play with his farm sets!

I decorate the table where we eat lunch & cake and where the gifts are placed.  The only things I purchased were the John Deere colored balloons and John Deere place mats (they had games on the back, more educational activities… shh, don’t tell!) and small items for game prizes.

John Deere fleece made a great tablecloth for the gifts.  There is also time for other games and if the weather permits, time to play outside to burn off all that extra energy!!

Standard for every birthday in the younger years (at least above the age of 3) is a number of games.   These are some of the games I used to play at all my birthday parties.  All these games and fun are some of my fondest childhood memories! We love ‘The Clothespin Game’ and ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’.  Both of these also have the additional benefit of being educational.

‘Pin the Tail’ is good for spacial and body awareness.

I used a large display board I already had as the background.  The tractor is made from John Deere green paper.  One large rectangle and on medium sized square with a John Deere yellow stripe along the top of the large rectangle.  The wheels are cut from black paper with yellow centers.  Each child had their name written in the yellow wheel center.  I used a bandana to cover their eyes and we really spin them around before setting them loose!  I’ve learned to not allow them to feel around on the paper to figure out where they are.  ;-)  Those sneaky kids!  I used a piece of tape made into a loop, sticky side out for application to the board.

holding the clothespin properly

holding clothespin too low

added difficulty holding above the chair back

‘The Clothespin Game’ is excellent for hand-eye coordination.  Generally each person gets 5 clothes pins to drop.  The person with the most clothes pins in the bottle wins!  Ties require a ‘drop off’!  I use 5-gallon water bottles, because that is what I have.  When I was a little girl we used half-gallon glass milk bottles and that was hard!

We even get the Dad’s to participate!!  At least in this game anyway…  :-)

We had a great day!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts of interest:

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Don’t Like & Why

Aunt Mae’s Wild Kingdom!

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Like & Why

This post also linked here:The Better Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Raising Arrows, Homestead Revival, Finding Heaven, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path,  Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, MOB Society, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

June 6th – A Momentous Day

Today is a momentous day.

Yes, back in 1944 was the invasion of Normandy, France by the allied troops.  It is referred to as ‘D-Day’.

43 years later there was another momentous day on June 6th.

It was the day of my marriage to The Patriarch.  Yes, that makes today our 25th Wedding Anniversary!  I guess you could say this is also… W-Day.

I ran across this post today – To Love Honor and Vacuum.  She lists some good tips for keeping your husband the man of your dreams, even though there is now much water under the bridge!

I will list her headings and add my own comments below that list.

1) Don’t Compare Him, 2) Find Things to Praise Him For, 3) Don’t Try to Tame Him, 4) Embrace a Healthy S*x Life.

1) Whew!  I wouldn’t want him to compare me to another woman, especially a fake one from the movies or a magazine!  This is the man you chose to marry, the man you ‘fell in love with’, enjoyed talking with and spent hours getting yourself ready for.  Learn to love him for who he is!  If he is adoring you above all else, worshiping the ground you walk on, etc  then his priorities are wrong.  You should come after his love for the Lord, not before.  That other idea is a false humanistic view of love.

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  Deuteronomy 6:1 – 5

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mark 12:30

My dear husband goes to work every day, working hard to provide for us.  He is out slaying his dragons, taking dominion over his part of the world.  Currently his work environment is Christian-hostile, anti-intellectual and physically and spiritually draining.  My desire is for him to “want” to come home every day.  I sure don’t want to do, say or behave in a way that would drive him away!

2) When I have my priorities in their proper places it is much easier for me to take my eyes off of what I perceive as my needs and focus on what his needs are.  I do not do this as well as I would like, but with the Lord’s help I am improving one day at a time.

I also am careful not to praise him in a way that seems artificial or fake.  That seemed to be a problem in his extended family and in his childhood home the pendulum swung so far the other way that no compliments were given for anything.  I don’t gush with meaningless words but am specific in what I am praising him for.  Sometimes if is an “offhand” kind of comment, like when I told him I love the way he leads our family devotions.  It was part of a larger conversation and fit in context.  I wasn’t “looking for something to compliment him on”, but mentioned something I genuinely appreciate.

I also take what opportunities I can to praise him behind his back.  Years ago as a Creative Memories consultant I attended consultant only crops.  There were a several women who spent lots of time tearing down their husbands.  Some I make sure to remember as examples for what NOT to do!

3) She says “don’t tame him”, but I see this as “Be IN Submission To Him”!  This is the age-old problem between men & women, brought about by our first parents…  Adam & Eve.

It can be so easy for we as women to fool ourselves into thinking we are being submissive when in actuality we are only agreeing with our husbands.  Do not think that I am doing this perfectly, for I am not.  There are still and always will be areas I can improve upon.  But there should be improvement!

If you asked your husband, would he say you are in true biblical submission to him?  Let’s not focus on the anomalies to a healthy biblical relationship.

Here are some questions I ask to test myself:

Has my husband asked me to do something that I have still not gotten done days, weeks or months later?

Am I making my husband’s wishes a priority in my day above what I think I ‘must’ get done today?

Do I talk over my husband?  Do I interrupt my husband?  Do I correct my husband in front of the children or others?

Do the children respect my husband?  If not, than the root problem may lie at my door.

Am I doing or saying anything that would discourage my husband from being the biblical leader of our home?

8 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3: 8 – 24

4) I have nothing to add here.

I think I told you before that The Patriarch was out of work for 2 months.  Once he got another job it was a number of weeks before we had our first full paycheck.  We were a full 10 and a half weeks without income.  I did not tell my husband that he needed to look for work, I knew he knew that full well.  My saying anything along those lines would be nagging.  He didn’t need THAT from me.  He asked me, as keeper of the accounts, how we fared financially and I gave him an honest answer.  Not making things look bleaker than they were or glossing over any potential difficulties.  I didn’t make any comments like, ‘well we could do that or have that but you aren’t bringing in a paycheck’.  If he decided to not do something, or to do something I made it all work to the best of my ability.  The same went for if we said anything to anyone or not.  He chose ‘not’.  It was well over half way through our ‘tight financial time’ when he thanked me for being supportive!  Once Arrow and I knew he would be leaving for work, we both told him we were glad he got a job but sorry he wouldn’t be home!  We all came to see this time as a blessing in our family.  I will share more on those things in a different post.

I was not always in submission to DH.  I was one who had duped myself into thinking I was, when the truth was I was not in submission.  Once I truly did submit myself to his biblical authority and I was no longer striving for his God-given-position as leader in our family so many needless arguments simply vanished!

I wouldn’t trade that false sense of freedom I once had for the true freedom I now enjoy.  It has been such a blessing!

So does that mean this is… D W Day?!!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts you may be interested in:

LAF Has Returned

Resolution – More Attentive to DH

Memorial Day Observance

I wish to extend my sincerest thanks to those who have served in our military and to the families who have lost a loved one who served our country.

Thank You

Thank you.

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

The Mother’s Day Blues

I have been known in the past to remark that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark inspired ‘occasion’, and if your children don’t honor you any of the other 364 days of the year than why would you expect them to honor you on a specific day?

My friend, Bambi, over at “Nursery of the Nation” blog wrote an excellent piece on where our real focus should be on Mother’s Day.

I don’t know about you, but I sure NEEDED this reminder.  Truly does give “Mother’s Day” a whole new meaning!

I pray you are as blessed by her post as I was!  Blessings, ~Aunt Mae

She’s Got the Mother’s Day Blues


It’s almost here. Mother’s Day. The stores have flower bouquets readily available, and pink, feminine greeting cards are easily accessible in every grocery checkout line. I saw a huge sign outside a jewelry store the other day: “Tell her you appreciate her… with a diamond.”

Last time I checked, my five-year-old didn’t have enough money in his piggy bank to buy me a diamond. Unless your children are adults, the recognition of Mother’s Day falls on a husband’s shoulders.

And what if mom is single? What if her husband is deployed? What if he’s an unbeliever or a loving husband who simply doesn’t choose to make a big deal–or any deal–out of Mother’s Day?

Discontent
Mother’s Day can have the potential to bring discontent to our hearts. I’m ashamed to admit, in Mother’s Days past, I have found myself tempted to get a wee bit self-focused. Surely one day out of the year mothers deserve to be honored for all our hard work and sacrifices, right?

But the thing is, children don’t rise up and bless you until they are old enough to rise. A few of us may have young children that understand sacrifice and the eternal significance of our discipline, hard choices and protection of them, but most don’t. They won’t for many years.

I once helped a group of 6 year olds make homemade cards for their moms on Mother’s Day. I asked them to be specific about what they were thankful for in their mothers, remembering everything their moms did for them. Every single one of them said they were thankful their moms made meals. That’s all they could think of even after I prodded them. One of them even had me write, “Thank you for the bowls of cereal.” Ha!

The moral of that story is that number one–mealtime is very significant to children and number 2–it’s one of the only things they see that you do. Their little eyes just don’t see the magnitude of your influence on their lives, until much later.

And so it’s an unspoken rule, especially in the early years of motherhood, that Mother’s Day could be better named: Wife’s Day… or Husband-Better-Make-Wife-Feel-Good-or-He-Will-Get-the-Silent-Treatment-and-Probably-Never-Know-Why-Day.

Mother’s Day Focus: God and Others
It’s inside of all of us. We all want to be noticed, appreciated and valued. But if we’re to consider others more important than ourselves, we can instead:

*Make it a day of personal thanksgiving to God for the children He has blessed us with. Thank him for a husband who provides so that we can be keepers at home and enjoy the beautiful tasks God has called us to, as mothers.

*Focus on other moms who don’t have children who have “risen up” yet either. Make her a pie, send a card, call, text or email. Consider it a special opportunity to encourage her. And be specific about the virtues you see in her and the progress you see her making in her marriage and children.

*Plan a special meal for the mom or mom-figure in your life.

*Help your children send homemade cards to other women in their lives, and teach them to recognize their character and strengths so they can be specific in their letters.

*Remember women who aren’t mothers. Older women who were never able to have children, as well as women currently experiencing the trial of infertility. Take the opportunity to write them a homemade card that encourages them with scripture, or give them a simple gift.

*If you have children who would like to have a gift for you, help them by providing craft supplies or give them a few dollars (or extra chores to earn it). You can take them shopping rather than hoping or expecting that your husband will do it.

Don’t We Deserve Just One Day of Honor?
If our husbands, children or others honor us this weekend, it will be a blessing. But we don’t deserve it. What we did deserve has already been paid in full. The penalty we owed–has been paid by the sacrifice of Christ, justifying us and satisfying the wrath of our Holy God.

We’ve been saved by the grace of God, Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. No works…not even good wifely or motherly works, are enough to save us, nor do they earn us extra credit.

We serve our families all year, 24/7. If we know the call to lay down our lives for them it’s only because he laid down His life for us. We can serve and serve and serve, but apart from His sacrifice there is no serving. True greatness is attained only by emulating Christ’s example, the ultimate Servant–and only made possible by His sacrifice.

That is worth celebrating every day and every moment.

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Why We Attend the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference

This year’s conference is at the end of this week.  Our excitement mounts as the days draw nearer, ever nearer!!

Why do we attend THIS conference above any others offered in our state?

Let me count the ways!

1) Christian Heritage’s conference is the only Christ-centered homeschool conference offered in my area.  When we first started homeschooling in the early 1990′s I did attend ‘another’ big conference in our area… it was the only thing I knew about at the time.  But it’s sole focus was on the teaching-mom.  There wasn’t a hint of anything that we believed was important.  Anything “Christian” was indicated as so in the brochure… so they could be avoided by the majority attending.  I was starving for the Christian message and sought out those that were specifically Christian!!  ‘That’ conferences biggest draw is the mammoth sized curriculum fair.  But THAT isn’t a draw for me, as I am interested in distinctly Christian materials to support the Christian training we supply at home.

2) Christian Heritage’s vendor hall is FULL of excellent, Christian materials!  This is by far THE BEST homeschool vendor hall I have ever had the privilege to attend.  I don’t have to examine science materials to discover that it is evolutionary based twaddle!  It is a LARGE vendor hall FILLED with materials of substance, quality and Christ.  Lots and lots of choices… so go with a list!!  It can be overwhelming.  :-)

3) Christian Heritage’s conference provides encouragement and teaching for me in my God-given roles of helpmeet, keeper-at-home, and instructor/discipler of the next generation, and for The Patriarch in his roles as prophet, priest, protector and provider for our family.   That encouragement keeps us going through the rest of the year and not become weary in well doing.  Neither of us had any of this modeled or taught to us in our childhood years and this excellent teaching helps us to understand and live out our God-given roles.

4) No matter what questions or concerns have cropped up over the previous year, the Christian Heritage conference has answered them from a biblical basis, there was a concern about college, a science question, each year has been something very different.   God is so amazing and gracious to do this for me… every single year!!

5) The Christian Heritage conference’s keynote speakers have encouraged, exhorted and taught us on a wide range of topics.  Keynote speakers in the past have been 2006: Doug Phillips, Steve Maxwell, Dr. Brian Ray;  2007 Voddie Baucham, James McDonald; 2008 Doug Phillips; 2009Viddie Baucham; 2010 Ken Ham, Kevin Swanson; and in 2011 Kevin Swanson, Geoffrey Botkin.  This year we are privileged to hear Voddie Baucham speak again.  The Patriarch was so blessed by him in 2007 & 2009 that he has been looking very forward to his return this year!

6) The entire Christian Heritage conference is very well organized starting with the greeters at the door, the registration table, information booth, speakers, vendor hall, and including the CD & DVD ordering.  And they get better and better every year!  No matter how big the conference is, or how busy anyone is, there is a sweetness and courtesy not usually found out in town today that is like a cup of cold water to a thirsty man.

7) The DVDs & CDs.  Yes, I know we could just order them online and skip the conference… but I can not imagine missing this conference!!!  The CDs & DVDs are also offered at a special conference price… so it’s a WIN, WIN!!  The CDs & DVDs are a way for me to have all the workshops I wanted, but couldn’t physically attend!  There is only one of me!!  We get to watch the excellent messages again as a family and  listen to various teaching as we drive in the van or sit at home.  I don’t know about you, but as we watch or listen to these presentations again many times I hear something I missed in the original hearing.  The topics are broad ranging and are timeless treasures!

New this year! The CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
“SEASONS OF DISCIPLESHIP” COLLECTION …
Audio Messages to Fit Your Family’s Needs

WHAT ARE THEY & WHERE DO I GET THEM?
This COLLECTION contains 11 sets of past CH Conference messages—selected for their timeless Biblical and practical encouragement for equipping your household:

  • Tailored to meet you where you’re at as you go through the seasons of parenting and as your family’s requirements change
  • 10 CD’s per Set—assembled by topic to suit the many needs of homeschooling families
  • Available at Special Conference Prices at the CHRISTIAN HERITAGE CONFERENCE Booth (#24-25)—along with the popular Father & Son Retreat and Mother & Daughter Teas CD’s
  • After the Conference, available via our CH Online Store at ChristianHeritageOnline.org

OTHER “SEASONS OF DISCIPLESHIP” SETS:
(Click Here to see all Speakers and Sessions in each Set)
~ SET 1 – Christian Heritage Conference Favorites
~ SET 2 – Godly Parenting & Family Relationships
~ SET 3 – Helpful Homeschooling Nuts & Bolts
~ SET 4 – Getting a Great Start
~ SET 5 – Keep Going – You CAN Do It!
~ SET 6 – Moving Forward into Adulthood
~ SET 7 – Conquering Learning Challenges
~ SET 8 – Discipleship Wisdom for Moms
~ SET 9 – Discipleship Wisdom for Dads
~ SET 10 – Encouragement for Sons (& Their Parents)
~ SET 11 – Encouragement for Daughters (& Their Parents)

Great for Personal, Family, and Group Bible study ~
and to Give as Gifts for Any Occasion!

8) We get to see friends we don’t see on a regular basis and meet new friends!

9) During break times, the young men have a football game on the lawn outside the main doors.  There are fellas wearing suits, jeans and everything in between.  It is a great way to burn off some of the pent up energy in young men!  I find it encouraging that the older young men do not shun the younger ones, but cheerfully include them in the game.  That is a rarity these days!

If you are in the neighborhood, please join us April 26th – 28th, 2012 for the

7th Annual Christian Heritage

Family Discipleship & Homeschooling Conference!!

Registration is available at the door.  We would love to see you there!!  :-)

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)


Other posts you may be interested in:

Why We Homeschool

Daily Renewal – When Mothering Feels Too Hard

This post also linked here:

Mother’s Day Soap Sale!

Mae’s Handcrafted Natural Soap

!! Mother’s Day Sale !!

Buy two (4oz) bars of soap for $4.95 each and

Get one (2oz) bar FREE!!!

(Free soap randomly chosen from stock on hand)

Share this post with your family and friends!

It is a beautiful spring Saturday here in the Pacific Northwest.  The birds are busy singing, the trees are blooming & budding and you know what that means?!?!

Well, yes, it does mean it is time to plant your garden, begin cutting the grass, fighting all those pesky weeds and the ever hated – - – tax time.

But spring heralds something more exciting than all that.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner!!

This year pamper your mom, daughter or close friend with my luxuriously moisturizing, handcrafted, natural soaps.  I have a wonderful array of soap scents any mother/daughter/woman would love!  The best part is my special gives you more bang for your buck by offering a free 2 ounce bar of soap for every two 4 ounce bars purchased.

See my Mae’s Soap page for details or use the flyer below.

All the new scents are made using my new soap formula with more lather and are indicated on the flyer with an asterisk or stated as the new formula on my soap page.  Feel free to pass this flyer along to anyone you think would love handcrafted natural soaps!   (Sale Flyer – Mother’s Day 2012)

There are two scents I would like to highlight.  The first is a Mae’s Soap exclusive scent you will find no where else.  It was wildly popular at Christmas.  I created this scent in honor of my mother-in-law as it is her favorite candy – Chocolate Covered Cherries.  This smells so good you might be tempted to take a bite!  But use it in the shower instead for a treat without the calories!!

The second scent is in honor of my grandmother.  This was her favorite flower – Sweet Pea.  I colored this a gentle yellow because yellow was also her favorite color!  It was when I went to my Daddy-J’s memorial that I found out about my grandmother’s favorite flower & color.  I never knew this as a child.  I guess I just never thought to ask.

If YOU are the mother/daughter/woman who would love to get some of these wonderful soaps for Mother’s Day, please share this post with your family!!  I would also appreciate your sharing this on any of your social media sites!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Other posts you may be interested in:

A Spring Walk in the Park!

Spring Has Sprung!

Lemon Lavender Muffins – Gluten Free!

Mrs. R’s Breakfast Mix

This post also linked here:

         

Happy Easter 2012

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Regarding Resolutions

I found these two lists that have suggestions to help you actually make good on your New Year’s resolutions.

Yes, I do know this is the end of March!  But I am still working on my resolutions.

  1. Pick one resolution, or one more than you completed last year. Your odds of staying focused improve.
  2. Look at last years list and evaluate where you failed. Too ambitious? Where did you give up? Use this self-knowledge to inform this year’s resolutions.
  3. Break any resolution into monthly goals so you have short term focus.
  4. Find a friend who can sign up to the same goal. We are social creatures, and our goals should be social.
  5. Write down the resolution and sign it. Writing has power.
  6. Put your written resolution somewhere useful (e.g. in front of the fridge)
  7. Have a daily positive task – mark off a day on a calendar every day you’ve met your resolution. You get a positive visual reminder you’re on your way.
  8. Divide further: simply make a resolution for January, and re-evaluate on Feb 1st.

1.  go beyond superficial and connect to core values

2.  be specific

3. have 0r get support

4. focus on one at a time

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Other posts you may be interested in:

My New Year’s Resolutions

Resolution-More Attentive to DH

If I Were the Devil

This was recorded in 1965!  All of these things have come true, so sadly true.

This was Paul Harvey.   Good day.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Greetings & Update

Hello All!  I am so sorry I have been so quite here lately.  Life has been in a bit of an uproar in our home and blogging was set aside for a short time.  The photo challenge is also off for now.  I just can’t keep up with all that right now.

The Patriarch injured himself at work.  Nothing serious, but it is taking longer to heal that I would like to see!  He has a bursa on his knee.  He is a field service technician fixing forklifts, which is a hard, physically demanding job.  On the 16th he spent an hour & a half kneeling while working on a lift truck.  The next day he had a large lump just below the knee cap, about the size of a large apricot.  The following day he mentioned that he had hurt his knee and was required to fill out L&I forms by his boss.  He didn’t think it needed medical attention, but did leave work early every day the rest of that week.  He rested it over the weekend but it hadn’t changed.

Then early the following week he had to kneel on it again.  That night he called me into the bathroom to see his foot.  I was shocked!  It was a deep maroon color along the entire inside of his foot and partly along the outside.  His foot and ankle were also swollen.  He came home early to rest his leg most of that week also.  Because it hadn’t gotten any better he said  he would have a doctor look at it.

Then on Tuesday, the 28th of February he went to the clinic for his work.  He waited an hour to be seen.  The doctor took one look at his swollen foot, ankle and calf and sent him to have an ultrasound to eliminate the possibility of any blood clots!  YIKES!!  All that was done at the regional medical center.  Because of the possibility of blood clots, he was ushered in to be scanned immediately upon arrival.

That sure had me a bit worried I’ll tell you! 

Thankfully he scanned all clear of any clots.  Phew!  If there had been a clot, he would have been immediately admitted into the hospital and would have been there for at least 3 days.

It seemed like late September’s medical emergencies all over again… was I prepared for all that again… this time with MY husband??

In case you are new to my blog, this past September my mom & step-Daddy came to visit.  He suffered a series of strokes and went home for treatment.  His cancer was causing thickened blood, which resulted in his strokes.  He died in early December from the cancer.  I miss him very much.

Anyway, The Patriarch was sent home to rest his leg for the remainder of the week.  It has been nice having him home, but that always throws my schedule w-a-y off!

And today, today is Arrow’s 13th birthday.  Where has all the time gone?!

We originally planned to go to the zoo.  But Arrow said he would prefer to go next week and stay at home with his Dad.  It gladdened my heart to hear him say that.  :-)

Arrow & I are also taking a break from formal piano lessons for a bit.  We will continue to work ahead in our books, but on our own.

I have been amazed at how much more I have gotten done at home, not leaving… even for that one appointment!  I am REALLY liking this!  I am also cutting back on my computer time.  Not for blogging, but for my yahoo groups, facebook, etc.   No, this is not a lenten thing it is a ‘get my priorities straight’ thing.

I have started a major de-cluttering… and started in the ‘office’.  Our school books were in piles and boxes in the office and scattered in various locations throughout the rest of the house.

And dust…?  Oh am I supposed to do that??!

I know have completed a thorough dusting of the three tall bookshelves in the office, organized most of the books on those shelves, went through and got rid of loads of paper & condensed some storage files.  I also dusted, arranged and organized the books on the two small bookshelves in the master bedroom.  I still have some organizing to do with the books so they are easier to use, but I now know where they all are!!

Labels.  I hate it when I have “reorganized” but can’t find anything.  So I have labeled drawers & plastic bins with my nifty label maker.  It is a P-touch and everything is neatly labeled.  Including my spices!

Arrow hung up some new bird feeders a few weeks ago.  We have three feeders hanging just outside of the living room window and one that is one Arrow’s bedroom window.  So far we have had nuthatches, Juncos, chickadees, and finches.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy bird watching!  Our visit to my mom’s reminded me and renewed Arrow’s interest in birds.  I sit on the couch in the living room and watch the birds at the feeders early in the morning.  We just picked up almost 25 books from the library on bird watching, bird house building, gardening to attract birds and bird identification books specific to back yards in the Seattle area.

After hanging out feeders, it was only 3 or 4 days before we had birds visiting them!  We have one feeder that is for thistle seeds which finches really like.  There is one suet feeder that the nuthatches and chickadees like.  The third feeder has a seed mix for a variety of birds.  Once that mix is gone I will no longer use it.  There is too much ‘junk seed’ in there.  We will switch to providing shelled sunflower or safflower seeds.

With all the time The Patriarch has been off work, we are looking at next to no paycheck for the next pay period.This is yet another reason I am SO GLAD we have been preparedness minded!  I have enough ‘supplies’ stocked up that all I really need to purchase for the next few weeks are perishables.  All those preparedness supplies will be my next organizing focus!

Then we come to tomorrow.  Tomorrow are the Washington state Republican caucuses.  There will be NO primary voting this year, it was eliminated due to budgetary cuts.  So we are supposed to go to a caucus… but I don’t like any of the candidates!  Sigh.

Sorry for the jumbled post!  It does sort of fit with my life right now though…

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)