Today You Are You…

Today is National Read Across America Day in honor of the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his most famous pen name “Dr. Seuss”.  My childhood memories are filled with Dr. Seuss books, TV shows, movies, and even albums!  I had an LP of Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham, and I can still picture myself sitting on the floor by my mom’s HUGE record player while listening to this recording.  Every Christmas, of course, we would all watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and because I also had the book I would quote the entire show!  And when we went to the library, I think I probably got at least one of his books every time!  And now that I have a daughter, I have been able to read many of his books to her as well and to share with her his humor and creativity!

Dr. Seuss (which is technically pronounced to rhyme with “voice”) led an interesting life filled with both successes and failures and, at times, much turmoil.  But he used his talents to support and assist with political and educational issues he believed were important.  For instance, his book The Cat in the Hat was written in response to a 1954 report that children were not learning to read because their books were boring.  Dr. Seuss was challenged to write a book using only a list of 250 words that first-graders should recognize.  It took him 9 months, but he was able to finish this work using 236 of those words, and now this book still sells about half a million copies each year. 

Dr. Seuss would be 107 years old today, and in honor of that, here are some of my favorite quotes from his works: 

~“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

~“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

~“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

~“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

~”The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

~“It’s a troublesome world. All the people who’re in it
are troubled with troubles almost every minute.
You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot,
for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.”

~”Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

~”Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

~”We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

~”Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

~“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

~”I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind, some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready you see,
now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

~”Big Z, little Z, what begins with Z? I do.
I’m a zizzer zazzer zuzz, as you can plainly see.”

~”I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

~”Why are they sad and bad and glad?  I do not know, go ask your dad!”

~”Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas. . . perhaps. . . means a little bit more!”

~”Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!!!

Re-Post: My Wedding Thursday Thirteen

As promised, I’m going to post a few of my favorites from past years.  This is one of my earliest posts and it reminded me of the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended… MINE!  :)  Enjoy…

It’s that time of week again!  I sat down this past week, while battling kidney stones, and watched our wedding videos.  We have footage of everything from the rehearsal to the reception, and I just love reliving that wonderful day.  Not only does it remind me how much I love being married to Tony, it’s also a great reminder of family & friends I haven’t seen in a long time.  So here are thirteen wonderful things I loved seeing or remembering while watching those videos.  In no particular order:

1.) We couldn’t stop looking at one another ~ the photographer had to keep telling me to look at her instead of Tony!

2.) My flowers were gorgeous…peach & white roses with little pearls and lots of green ivy.

3.) Pastor Sam Harbin officiated our wedding, and he did such a GREAT job keeping things in the rehearsal moving.  I have been involved in too many weddings where the rehearsal was pure torture.  Ours was fun and relaxed!

4.) The church was FULL of people who had come to show their love & support!  Both of our parents & grandparents were especially encouraging to us!

5.) Our wedding cake was the most beautiful one I have ever seen!

6.) My sister was my maid of honor…I am so glad we had (and have!) a great relationship!

7.) Speaking of flowers…I admired my mom’s calm & hard work when all our flowers arrived and were not tagged for who was to wear which ones!  She set to work with the order form & had it figured out in no time!

8.) The ceremony was centered around Christ…we wanted everyone to know that we were thankful for our salvation and that we wanted our family & friends to know God in a personal way too!

9.) Once we were all ready & before we took pictures, Tony & I had a few minutes of private time where I walked down the aisle to him alone, and we were able to talk and laugh and look forward to our lives together.

10.) Instead of a receiving line, Tony & I went back into the sanctuary and dismissed everyone row by row ourselves.  That way, we were able to speak to everyone, and no one had to greet a huge line of people they didn’t know!

11.) We involved many of our family & friends in the ceremony & music.

12.) I loved singing to Tony as a surprise in our ceremony.

13.) I love looking at that video and seeing family members who have passed away (Tony’s Nana, my Uncle Jim) and friends we haven’t seen for years.  I especially love seeing our friend Jeremy Janz there with his brother Jason as they both ran around in the parking lot decorating the pastor’s car instead of ours (since we took a limo!).  Jeremy was involved in a terrible accident two summers later which has left him in a comatose state.  I know Tony still misses him.

Tony, I love you, and I would marry you all over again!

It’s a new year!

Can’t believe I haven’t yet blogged in 2011!  There probably isn’t a soul who even knows this blog exists anymore.  Except my mom.  LOL!  :) 

Well, let’s recap…we had some wonderful times over the holidays with family and friends!  Lots of parties & gatherings, lots of laughs, lots of good food!  We were blessed with some nice gifts as well! 

January started out like a freight train…when I look at my datebook and all the things scratched all over it, it makes me wish I’d gotten a bigger book! ;)  But it’s good to be busy, right?  I’ve been able to spend lots of time with friends and family and to enjoy rehearsing with chorus and quartet.  Speaking of quartet, we are very excited as we prepare for regional competition!  We have had some great rehearsals together, and have a wonderful coach who is taking us in an exciting direction.  It’s so amazing to sing with smart and talented people!  My chorus is also preparing for regionals, and we are singing consistently well!  I am SO looking forward to competition this April!!!

School is going well.  We are continuing to study post-Civil war topics in history.  Currently we are reading about Helen Keller, and Abby has even decided on her own to learn to recognize the Braille alphabet.  I love her self-motivation!  Science topics currently include planets, stars, asteroids, space shuttles and astronauts ~ some of her favorite topics!  She often completes her science first!  :)

Other info on us…cleaning = love the work, good to have the income!  TPC (Tony’s company) = slow but promising…I hope!  :)  Church = I am still singing and working in the nursery.  Tony is co-teaching the college & career/young married class and helping with sound.  We love our church so much and appreciate the direction Pastor Brian is leading us!

Well, this is a little bits and pieces but maybe, just maybe, I will keep at this…  don’t hold your breath though.  I might just re-post some of my past favorites….HA!  Lazy…

Fall…and other happenings…

What a crazy fall this has been!  Not only has the weather been interesting…unusually warm & sunny…but we have also had a CRAZY busy schedule!  Sometimes I get to Friday and wonder where my week went!  I thought I’d update my many readers (ha!) on how things are going.

Homeschooling is going VERY well!  We have adjusted to our “flexible” schedule, and we are both enjoying learning!  We are coming to the end of our study of the Civil War period.  We have learned about the many political and social sides to the war, about our country’s leaders, and about how different people were affected by the war.  We just finished a book about the Monitor & the Merrimac and how those ships changed naval history!  In science, she is enjoying going through a book on “how things work”.  Each day talks about how different devices & inventions work.  She always wants to “read ahead”!  :)  Next week, she’ll start a study of  “light and sound”.  Her favorite subject is creative writing…she is keeping a “character journal” where she periodically comes up with names for people she’ll later use in stories.  She’ll begin describing them soon!  She’s also learning to create similes while describing objects.

I have been very thankful for the “customers” I have for cleaning houses!  Most of them are friends from chorus, and I honestly do enjoy cleaning.  It’s a good feeling to know that I can come in and spend a few hours and know that my friends & their families will come home to a sparkling house!  The extra money helped me get to Seattle (which I’ll tell you about in a minute) and helps with our household needs too!  :)

Now…on to Seattle!  Since our chorus won our regional competition in the spring of 2009, we were eligible to compete at the international competition held in Seattle last month.  To make a LONG 18 months shorter, we spent MUCH time and did MUCH work to prepare to take the stage!  We had a wonderful time that week laughing and singing and being together, and when we competed in the semi-finals on Thursday, we put a GREAT performance on stage and earned enough points to be 11th place and to be the mic testers for the finals on Saturday!  We are the FIRSTI chorus from Indiana ever to sing in the Saturday competition, and we are VERY proud!  Eleventh place in the world is nothing to sneeze at! :)  We are already beginning preparations to compete regionally in the spring and to hopefully qualify to compete in 2012 in Denver!  We also have some great performance opportunities in the upcoming year, so stay tuned!  I’d love to see you in the audience!

The Learning Continues…

We have a week and a half of homeschool under our belts, and we are LOVING it!  :)  I just love being with this girl, and I don’t think she’s tired of me yet!!

Abby is doing well in her studies.  We have together learned much about South America and Simon Bolivar.  I love all the reading we get to do together and the discussions we get to have about all her books.   We took our first field trip last Friday to the Indianapolis Art Museum.  It had been a long time since I had been there, and it was just beautiful!  Abby was even in awe of the artwork!  I specifically went to the section of South American art where we looked at a map of that continent.  Abby pointed out countries and other geographical points of interest that weren’t labeled.  I was very proud of her!  :)  We took my brother as well, and the three of us spent several hours looking and talking…and we still didn’t cover the whole museum!

Our scheduling is still working well.  We try to get our “together work” done in the morning, then if I have a cleaning job that day, Abby takes her work along and finishes it wherever we end up!  I’m trying to keep my Fridays open so that if we miss something for whatever reason, we can make it up that day.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and I pray I am making the most of our time together!

New Adventures…

I guess after my Christmas post, I really never caught the blogging bug.  Thanks to those who asked about my blog…makes me feel good to know someone reads it!  ;)  But we have recently made some huge changes & adjustments to our lives, and I’d really love to share a little every now and then about what is going on ~ so that our friends & family can keep up with us and MOSTLY so they can pray for us!  Anything we do is impossible without God’s help!  And He has been SO GOOD to us, so I want to make sure HE gets the glory for all that is happening.

Tony’s work with his brother’s company seems to be going well.  We still struggle from time to time, but we have still never gone hungry.  :)  A lot of great possibilities are on the horizon, and we are praying that God continues to prosper the company so that we can say, “LOOK WHAT GOD DID!”  Can’t wait for that…  Tony’s doing more traveling, which is always hard for us, but it usually means more business and that’s a good thing!

I just started a new business myself…house cleaning!  I am really enjoying it, weirdly enough.  I have several houses I clean bi-weekly, one I clean monthly, and another I clean when she goes away on business trips so she can come home to a clean house.  :)  Abby usually goes along with me and helps me clean windows & mirrors, moves things so I can vacuum, and saves me a lot of time by running to get items for me to finish cleaning.  She’s a good helper and she’s learning along the way too!  Though I come home sore & tired most days, it still seems rewarding and I’m gaining a little more endurance each time!

Our biggest change started today!!!  We are homeschooling Abby this year for fourth grade!  We had been contemplating this all summer and just reached our decision a few weeks ago.  I had been researching curriculum and pretty much knew what I wanted to use if we decided to take this path.  We are mostly using the Sonlight curriculum, and so far we are very happy with it.  There is a LOT of reading, which Abby loves, and I think our biggest struggle will be to make her stop after she has finished her chapters for the day!  :)  We have yet to buy our grammar & math books, but we are doing those as money allows and we’ll either do some double-timing to catch up, or we’ll just hang a few lessons onto the end of the year.  Here is what we are beginning to study:

The basis of this curriculum is history, and all of our reading and much of the language arts revolves around the time period we are studying in history.  Fourth grade begins in American history around the Civil War.  Abby has assignments in “readers” which she reads on her own each day, and we also have “read-alouds” which are designed for the family to read together.  These are all centered around our current time period in history.

In geography, we are beginning a unit study on South America, and to go along with that Abby is reading a book about Simon Bolivar.   Today she labeled a map with many of the important geographical points of interest in South America.

Daddy is teaching her Bible before he goes to work each morning, and they are beginning their study with the book of John.  They will read a passage each morning and discuss it.  Some days Abby will receive some kind of service activity assignment as well.

Her first memorization is Psalm 103, and she has six weeks to learn it and prepare it as a recitation in front of a group of people.

In creative writing, she will be focusing on learning to make observations about common objects and then writing descriptively about them.   Today’s assignment was  to describe a hair.  :)  They are to use all the senses that are appropriate for each assignment, so she is looking forward to ice cream week.  ;)

In science, she is reading a book called Diary of an Early American Boy, and she will be learning about electricity and magnetism as well as the planets.

She also has assignments each day in dictation where she will write a short passage from one of her readers that I read to her clause by clause.  She has to focus on capitalization, punctuation, spelling and penmanship.

She also has daily assignments in spelling and vocab.  Her spelling words this week have to do with elections.

I think that’s about it for now.  I hope to keep you updated from time to time on what she is learning and how she is doing.  Our first day went really well.  As I was showing her all the books she’d be reading she said, “I’m loving this!”  :)

I’m praying for a wonderful year making memories together and doing MUCH learning together!  Thanks for your prayers as well!

Christmas Celebrations

So much is happening with us right now, and I know there will be many posts in the near future regarding these things, so I wanted to post about our Christmas happenings before everything gets crazy!  :)  Right now, I’d just like to ask for your prayers as I prepare to have laser surgery on my eye on Monday morning.  If you are my Facebook friend, you can read an update in my notes there.

First of all, I want to thank the Lord for giving me such wonderful friends & family.  As most of you know, this year has been trying financially, to say the least.  As Christmas loomed, I was beginning to think that it would be kind of a “Little House on the Prairie” Christmas this year.  Which was okay.  We have always aimed to make sure Abby knows what Christmas is about, that it is not about things.  She is a very content and generous girl.  We had already resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not have a tree this year.  Our artificial one bit the dust some time ago, and real trees were just beyond what we could afford.  Abby really wanted a tree, but she knew why we weren’t getting one and she was sweet about it.  Several weeks before Christmas, I found out that a very, very wonderful family member had sacrificed some of their hard-earned money to allow us to buy a tree!  What a wonderful day it was when Daddy took Abby to pick out her tree, and then when we put it up, we spent time stringing popcorn.  What fun!   Mom & Mike sweetly gave us some garland and decorations to put on the tree.  It turned out to be a beautiful one.

Now…what about gifts under the tree???  We knew it would be scant, but we would be able to buy a few things.  Then a sweet friend of mine unexpectedly sent Abby some toys from Amazon!  It was so nice to be able to put a few more packages under the tree so it didn’t look quite so bare!  :)

Then…the same day the Amazon boxes arrived, another envelope came, and the return address was a family member of Tony’s who wanted to send the gift anonymously but was urged by the post office not to.  I’m glad about that!  We opened the envelope to find two VERY generous gift cards to Wal-Mart…one for Abby and one for us!  We used some of that money to buy something for our whole family that we knew we would enjoy…a Wii Fit!  We’ve had a lot of fun with that, and we’ve started on our goals to lose weight and get fit!

We have been blessed in many other ways, including some yummy homemade treats from other friends and family!

We enjoyed Christmas Eve with Tony’s parents…a very fun evening of homemade pizzas, desserts, card games & Wii!  It was quiet, but very nice to spend time with them!

We began our Christmas Day in church – what a blessing that is!  Our church has a Christmas morning service full of music, poetry, and Scripture readings that begins our day the best way ever!  Back at the house, Abby opened her gifts under the tree, and she kept insisting this was the “best Christmas ever”!!!  :)  Indeed!  The rest of the day was spent at Mom & Mike’s, more wonderful gifts, yummy food, games, Wii, and lots of laughs!  :)

Saturday was at Dad & Cathy’s, and we were blessed to have my “bonus” brother Rob there with his girlfriend Lisa.  We received more nice gifts, had more delicious food, and more Wii playing!  :)

At times, I am tempted to think of all that we have done without…then I am reminded of ALL God has given me!  Family that we love and that love us…friends that make our lives full & fun…a church family that encourages us & love us…and a God who is good ALL THE TIME!

This past year has definitely been one of the more interesting times of our lives, but also a year that has taught me to appreciate so many of the little things I might have otherwise taken for granted!  I look forward to seeing what 2010 has in store for us!  Happy New Year!

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