Saturday, December 9, 2017

Grateful 2017

What happened to Thanksgiving this year? It seemed that one day I was starting school back in September and the next I was trying to figure out what to do with all the turkey leftovers. I have been busy, but at least thankfulness doesn’t have an expiration date. That means it’s time for me to write down this year’s gratitude list.

I’m thankful that swallowing pennies isn’t normally fatal. Same goes for tiny Legos.

I’m thankful that we’ll soon be able to move into the new addition at our home. I’m also thankful for getting to know the guys who made it happen. 

I’ll bet I’m not the only one in this community who gives thanks for Loaves & Fishes, all the cool treasures on their shelves, and the dedicated people who make it nice for the rest of us. I’m also thankful for our library, the treasures on its shelves, and for Lisa, Ruth Ann, and Pam, who make it nice for the rest of us.

I’m grateful our garden produced so many delicious green beans this year. I wish my bean-hating son could say the same.

Just like her mommy, my toddler giggles with excitement at nap time; I’m thankful for that.

There’s nothing like fresh eggs at breakfast. I’m so glad I’m able to eat them frequently thanks to our guineas and my friend’s chickens.

I’m thankful for my daughters who are teaching me to appreciate the pretty things in life.

I’m thankful for my sons who don’t know the difference between tights and leggings and who still think all of the pretty trappings of girls are dumb. I am begrudgingly thankful for their growth spurts even if that means I now have to look up to my oldest.

Pinterest and Krumpe’s Do-Nuts deserve a spot on this year’s list. Ditto for the occasional coffee.

Words cannot fully express the depth of my gratitude for potty-trained little boys.

I’m thankful that my parents still call to check on me if I don’t call them often enough. It makes me think they still love me a good bit.

I’m thankful for my hearing. I love sitting in church on Sunday and hearing my children’s sweet voices sing my favorite hymns and my husband’s strong voice preach about the Bible and the promises it holds for me. And, of course, I am most thankful to God, Who created all the beautiful words and music in this good, good life.


I’m also thankful that some foods taste better than they look. Last night we had split pea soup, and, man, does that stuff look disgusting! We tried every trick in the book to get the 4-year-old to try it. He was eventually slurping it straight from the bowl (even after the required four bites). If you’ve shied away from split pea soup because of the looks, this cold weather is the perfect time to change your ways and enjoy a tasty treat. 

Split Pea Soup

16 oz. split peas 
3 quarts water
1 small ham shank
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. oregano leaves
½ tsp. ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups thinly-sliced carrots
1 cup finely-chopped celery

Rinse and pick any rocks out of the split peas. Put the peas, water, ham, onion, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and bay leaves into a big pot. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ hours. Remove the ham shank and dice the ham. Add the ham bits, carrots, and celery to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for 2- 2 ½ hours. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

*This column ran in the Hancock News on December 6, 2017.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Building Project Update

So much is happening in our new addition, but I do have 5 students in our homeschool that take precedence. The camera simply doesn't come out as often these days.

But let me tell you, we are crazy-close to everything being finished! Right now the wooden floor is being laid down. The plan is that today the bedroom carpet will be installed also. I wish I could show you a picture of the wood floor because it is so beautiful, but, alas, I do not have a picture. AND yesterday my husband said he doesn't want me to post one yet because he wants everybody to see it in person first. I think he's right; it'll be like opening a Christmas present because the wait is worth it.

I can tease you a bit, though, with this picture of the wood floors on the delivery truck.

Beautiful floor all boxed up

The electrical work is all done, and it passed inspection. Yay!

I just need to learn what all these switches do.

Pretty lights and fans

So what's left? Well, after the floor is done, all the doors and trim need to be put up. The closets need shelves and such. And, The Inspector and the final inspection await.  

But that's not all. That gorgeous floor is also going into our dining room, living room, and hallway. Also, the living room carpet will be moved to our computer room. SO that's a lot of furniture to move before all is said and done. Right now it looks like all might be done a couple of days before Christmas. 

We're not sure how a Christmas tree is happening this year. I'll worry about that tomorrow, Scarlett-style.