Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This last month or so has become the month of project completion! I had so many unfinished projects laying around that have gotten finished. Craft projects, that is. I really feel like I've accomplished something.

India and I have experimented with making cards using my Cricut and various stamps and papers. We are hand-making our Christmas cards this year. It is fun! I'll post pictures later!

Its Been a While...

Good day, folks. It has been a while since I posted. Once of those nagging things in the back of my mind that I need to do, but I keep putting it off!

Well, another term of Treehouse went by. Treehouse is our homeschool co-op. Treehouse is in it's 6th year of operation. I helped start it and have continued to help out around the place. This was probably the most stress-free term, though. Things went really well. I taught two classes this term. An Ancient Writing and Art class for 8-10 yr. olds and a Paper Crafts class for 7-10 yr. olds. They were fun classes. I'm contemplating what to teach in the spring. We'll start classes back up again in February.

My kids have taken an awesome art class this term seperate from Treehouse that we have really enjoyed. They are also involved in a Revolutionary War history class that recently started up.

On the home front, we plug along in language arts and math as much as possible. Sometimes this is only a couple of days per week, but we are getting it done. I've learned not to stress about it because they are learning all the time. In history, we have gotten together with friends to study Ancient History once per week. A couple of weeks ago, we had a Greek Feast and Olympic games for Family night with 3 other families. It was great fun.

Chris and I went to HAWAII in October for a week. Chris had to go for work, and I got to tag along. We stayed in a beautiful house near the North Shore. I was grateful for some time away with my good husband :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I've been reading Fablehaven by Brandon Mull over the last week. I've gotten through the first 3 books in the series. Excellent fantasy writing for youth. Clean, too. Very creative. Up there with Harry Potter, even.

I started reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It is weird. I can't get into it. I'm a few chapters in.

I just want to read something lovely, now.

August is reading Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. I read it a while back. I'm struggling finding things for Canyon to read. All he wants to read is Calvin and Hobbes. India struggles to find things to read because she's read everything! Roman, well..... He doesn't want to learn to read, yet. And that's OK.


Unfortunately I've had some experience with mean girls. Girls who totally trash you so they can feel better about themselves, I guess. I never understood the whole mean girl thing, myself. I can only guess that is why girls are mean - that they have incredibly low self esteem. Some girls never grow out of this and become mean women.

I'm keeping my distance. It takes too much energy to be around mean people and people associated with mean people. Poor, naive people who blindly follow. My dear husband says that people can't offend him if he doesn't respect them. I totally agree. I just don't have time for the drama associated with these people.

So, I'm striving for peace in my life. Peace in the life of my family, as well. Hopefully my daughter will see my example and never have an inkling to be a mean girl in her lifetime.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I was just looking on a friend's blog and at the blogs this dear friend follows. Now, I have some new faves. There are women who create BEAUTIFUL things for their homes and it is really inspiring! I mean, I knit some measly things and take FOREVER to finish projects....or....gasp.....never finish projects that I start. That is shameful. I need to organize my life so I can enjoy creating more beauty for my home.

My dear husband may be getting a raise at work, soon. The amount of the raise to go with his promotion would be more money that I could make if I were to go to work after 14 years and half a degree. Wow. I'm so proud of him and how hard he has worked for this - working himself through school and through his career. I'm grateful for a husband who works hard outside the home, so I don't have to go there. He laughed when we when I was telling him this and said I make it easy for him. HA! Easy in that there is food on the table and clean clothes on his back and a tidy home - well, half of the time, anyway! I love this man.

I have watermelons growing out at our land and I'm psyched! I cannot wait until I get the huge garden I want for next year. I planted some watermelons out at the land 2 months ago using the lasagna garden method. They were organic, native seeds, so I figured they would thrive without much care from me and boy, are they! I'm only out there about once per week to water them and they are very happy growing along the stream flowing out of our spring-fed pond. I have a couple of melons the size of the palm of my hand. Keep growing, little beauties.

I have never grown a large garden, so I'm planning and excited to get to do it next year. We will be living out at the land by then. Right now, the house we lease has a very shaded and sloped yard. Our TX yard was too shady, as well. Our AR house before that was OK - I grew a couple of things, but Roman was very small, then, and I didn't have time or energy to do much. So, I've container gardened for a few years, now, but I'm ready for something on a larger scale.

My in-laws gave us an Aerogarden for our anniversary this year. I have basil, purple basil, chives, thyme, mint, and parsley growing in my laundry room! I have harvested the basil several times. Yesterday it all looked like a jungle, so I harvested and froze all the herbs for later use. Love it.

Well, this afternoon is HISTORY! My favorite subject. We're using Usborne World History, Story of the World, and a Kingfisher World History book that is on it's lovely way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm still alive...

Yes, I am still alive. It was a busy summer with all the camps, out-of-town visitors, baseball, and stuff. Yes, stuff.

It has been great taking a break, though. I didn't plan a single homeschool outing all summer. We actually took a summer break, but didn't go on vacation. We usually school through the summer, but it didn't work out this year. We did a little here and there, but nothing formal. I needed a break, as I was fast reaching the burn-out point!

I've been walking 3 mornings per week with a dear friend. It is invigorating! Not only physically, but mentally because we get to have girl talk. We go about 2.6 miles, so I feel like I'm such a serious athlete, now.

So, the month of August is here and I am all gung-ho. We had our "Not Going Back to School" party last week in combo with a neat field trip to Hobbs State Park. We got together with our lovely friends and are on a history schedule. I've made a list of what I need to buy for my different students and my kids have done school work almost everyday for a week. Our co-op will be starting up in the next couple of weeks and I signed up 3 of my kids for an art class taught locally. We're also scoping out shows performed at our local arts theatre so we can make a ticket order soon. I'm trying to figure out what to do for science.

The tab is quickly adding up, though, and getting expensive! I'm trying to think of ways to stay within my budget without slacking off on anything. Tricky...

August had his 12th birthday on the 11th. This was exciting for him - he is now a Young Man! He had an awesome birthday campout at our land and before that he learned to drive our new 4-wheeler. He was ordained a deacon at church, so he is a priesthood holder, now. He went on his first temple trip this past Saturday. I'm excited for him. He is a special guy.

We're planning a little trip to St. Louis and Nauvoo for September. I'm excited about that. We didn't take a trip this summer and need to get away as a family and have fun in a different setting. Also, Chris and I are traveling to HAWAII in October together and need to take the kids on a trip somewhere fun, too!

All for now...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Get the facts straight!!! and , people. Get the facts straight :) You'll never be the same!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting Older....

India and I celebrated our birthdays yesterday. I can't believe I now have a teenager. I remember when I was her age - 13! More and more often I see this certain beauty in her, this glimpse of her adult self shining through. A different beauty. She is growing up to be a good and righteous girl. She knows what is right and stands up for it on her own. What a wonderful birthday present it was to have her sent to me 13 years ago. A present I'll never forget.

When my father was still alive, he dreamed I would have a baby girl on my birthday while I was pregnant with her.

I have the best husband. He takes such good care of me and our children. He took the day off yesterday to spend with us. I love having him here. I have enjoyed him with us this weekend. The kids love him here, too. The boys really look up to him, and he is a great example for them. India adores him. He is a good man.

Well, we are buying those 33 acres of land. We close in a couple of weeks. We're so excited and are drawing up plans for what we will build there. The kids are so excited to live there and explore.

Things are slowing down for me, and I'm so glad. I'm gradually learning to say, "no", and not over-commit myself. My family and home come first right now. I'm not going to turn down church callings. So, everything else has got to go. I need to have my toe dipped in, rather than fully immerse myself in other things. A delicate balancing act I'm learning as I get older...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Well, Happy Easter! We had a great weekend. It was busy - August had a Friday night sleepover/campout. Saturday morning was a Primary activity. India went to a party Saturday afternoon and August had baseball practice. When all of that was over, we drove out to some property we are thinking about buying. We spent a few hours out there hiking it and trying to get a good feel for the land there, which is over 33 acres. Some of it is wooded and some open land. Some of it is rolling hills and some of it is flat. There is a huge spring-fed pond, and a little brook. It was in the 60s and sunny and gorgeous. We all got some great exercise and enjoyed beautiful creations.

This morning it was off to church. This afternoon, we drove back out to the property to check it out after heavy raining last night and today. We wanted to see what the water situation was like and make sure there was no flooding with the brook and other run off. It was just fine! Then, we came home and dyed eggs and made Easter dinner while listening to some Mo-Tab. After dinner, we did our Resurrection Eggs activity to tell the Easter story. Now, we are relaxing, which our family really needs.

We're so grateful for Christ and his sacrifice for us. We know he knows us individually by name and suffered for us so that we could live with our Father in Heaven again some day. I'm so happy that when we die this isn't the end. When our loved ones die it isn't the end. We will get to see one another again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


About once a year or so (sometimes twice), I feel the need to overhaul our schedule and priorities in my and my kids' lives. Usually when I feel like we aren't accomplishing much and the house is a wreck and we're running around too much! When we came back to NWA a year ago, I tested the waters with my toe trying to figure out what to get back into. Now, I feel like I've jumped in feet first and sometimes feel like I'm drowning. So.

My dear friend, Keli, has been so kind as to suggest we do science and history together once per week and that has been a blessing because it MAKES us get that organized, whether convenient or not, one day out of the week. This also MAKES me tidy up the house because I know they are coming :) At least the main rooms....

I organized "Culture Club" within our homeschool group, also. We meet once per month and share what we learned about whatever assigned country we decide on each month. The food is always superb. This is super fun, and also MAKES me do some culture study and geography each month.

I say MAKE because when we are so busy, these subjects tend to be overlooked and having to be accountable forces us to make time and not slack. I need that sometimes. Slacker that I am. Also, history and culture and geography are my favorite subjects. Science, not so much, but Keli loves it, so I let her teach that.

Spring break got us all out of whack on our time schedule. Chris is waking up so early to go to work that he isn't waking us before he leaves to read scriptures. This causes us to sleep in and then it is rush, rush, rush all day to get things done. We try to squeeze in scripture time somewhere in there. I think that not starting the day reading together causes our day to be out of sync. I need to just do it with or without Chris when he can't be here. Can't wait for this season to be over for him at work! The added stress isn't great for him, either. I love him for working so hard for our family.

Did I mention we got a puppy on top of everything? A sweet little toy poodle puppy named Scooter. He is India's doggie and was born January 23, so he is tiny. We've had him for about a month, and we're still trying to house train. It is driving us nuts, but he is cute and fat and will be spoiled.

So, we need to get back on track! I need to make up a loose schedule for each day of the week to follow, as well as "to-do" lists for the kids. That really helps them know what to do when I'm not available. I need to manage my time better so I'm not glued to my laptop working or out of the house most of the day! I need to allot time for that and not let it consume me, which it is quickly doing. When that happens, our home sort of starts to fall apart. The kids get off track and the house becomes a wreck and bills don't get paid.... Moms really are the glue keeping families together!

Off to overhaul our days.....

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Yes, I'm feelin' guilty for NOT blogging for over a month! I'm so busy, though. Sigh. I have the regular homeschool co-op and activities work, but August played basketball for 2 different leagues this year so we were running around to do that. I got a new calling AND a stake calling thrown into the mix. Oh, and Chris works late just about everyday with new job responsibilities he has going on. Whine, whine, whine... did I mention we also have school work to do everyday??

Basketball is now over - and August was a rock star, by the way - but, now baseball is getting underway, as well as soccer. India is playing soccer and all three boys are playing baseball. India has also started a violin class in addition to what she's doing at our co-op.

Keeping up with the house work is just about impossible.

I see burnout in my future, but am trying to hang on! If I could just get through until July. At that point sports will be over and Girl's Camp and Cub Scout day camp, but I'll have to focus on getting the co-op up and going by August. We'd like to take a trip west in July....

I'm learning to say "no" to activities and people when we just have too much going on and need to just be home. I need at least one full week day at home to take care of things here. Or else, we'll be living in a pig stye.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Like a 2 year old?

Today in sacrament meeting Roman was wiggly during the passing of the sacrament. I picked him up and put him in my lap and told him to be still for just a bit longer. He frowned at me and told me I was treating him like a 2 year old. This was pretty dramatic since he is now 6 years old and all! Hmmm..... Apparantly he was embarrassed to sit in my lap in front of his female peers sitting in front of us, who turned around to look at him in my lap.

Roman has his 6th birthday on February 6. The night before we took him to Chuck E. Cheese and Meme and Grandad met us there. On the day of, we went to a Valentine's Party at a friend's house. Some of the kids sang to him, and he got tons of presents earlier that morning. Things were low-key this year. It has been hard to bounce back from Granny's illness and funeral. I couldn't pull off a big party for him.

Chris celebrated 36 on February 8. What an old man! hehehe He is getting silver in his goatee :) He just looks more handsome to me. I continue to look more like a hag as I age. Scary.

Anyway, we're settling back into normal life, whatever that is. Still trying to organize and clean up the house. It is a disaster from the last month!

We got back to doing school work this week. I tend to sit at the dining room table on my laptop working while the kids gather around me at the table to do their work. "Working" for me this week was doing family history, scanning pictures, making to-do lists, and getting my personal life organized. This happened well this week. On Thursdays we're now meeting with two families who live nearby to do history and science. This will be great and will keep us on track.

India has been growing crystals in various ways this week for her science project for next month. Fun stuff.

August did well yesterday - he had two basketball games back to back and scored high for his team in each game. He was invited to play in a competitive tournament this week, and he is excited!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We're back from Texas. Our family escaped the ice storm last week to go to Granny's funeral.

After I left TX last time, she went to a nursing home for 1 day and got sent back to the ER barely breathing, low blood pressure, low heart rate. They sent her to Houston Methodist to ICU. She had a ventilator breathing for her and she had double pneumonia. It was bad. They did a scan of her abdomen and chest and found that she was eaten up with cancer. The doctor said this may have been what caused the strokes. There was nothing they could do.

She passed about 2:30 am last Tuesday, January 27. My aunt, mother, and cousin were with her.

I was in Arkansas in an ice storm, but OK with that. I knew when I came home that she didn't have long on this earth. I had grieved and made peace with that. I kept thinking I needed to get back down there, but something would pull my reins and say, "Not yet. Not now. Just wait."

Everything happens for a reason, and the spirit does guide us in ways we do not always understand right away, or ever. I think that if I had been there maybe my aunt and mother would not have been there. That would have been upsetting to my grandmother's soul, I think, to know her daughters weren't there. Even though I know she loved me and always counted on me, it hurt her when her daughters couldn't be counted on.

These are the facts and I have no problem stating them on this blog - they know that. The whole family knows that.

So, Chris said if he had to chisel our way out of the neighborhood, he would so we could leave Wednesday morning for TX. He didn't have to chisel us out, thankfully. Instead, we drove carefully. Lots of slipping and sliding went on, but I knew were being watched over so it didn't really stress me out.

We stayed with our great friends, the Waddells, down in Dayton. They are always great hosts. Things were busy while we were there getting everything in order, and we didn't get to hang out much, but when we did, it was fun and took my mind off of things.

I had Granny's funeral requests that she mailed to me about 4 1/2 years ago. We played the music she wanted, Chris conducted and gave the eulogy like she wanted, and we used the funeral home that she wanted. She got pink and blue flowers - her favorite colors. We played Elvis - Gospel Hits during her viewing :) My friend, Alma, and I sang during her services. Everything went over well. The other speakers were great. I learned several things about my grandparents and taught others what I knew. So much interesting history.

More than ever, I am happy to know who my ancestors were and how they lived their lives. What a rich inheritance I have. They were amazing people.

I don't think I shed a tear the day of the funeral. I was so happy for Granny. I missed her, deeply, and still do, but the joy overcame that. She was a widow for 35 years, and now she gets to be with her eternal companion. She isn't in pain and suffering. Her legs are strong and without polio, which she had as a teen. She is also with her parents, whom she loved. I had some intense spiritual experiences during the days I was in TX, and I know she was there watching us and loving us.

I did get a little weepy last night. A birthday card came for Roman from my other Granny. I realized no more birthday cards would come for our family from Granny Bevell, and that was sad. No more weekly phone calls. There is truly a void in my life, and that cannot be filled. A little part of me will always be empty. I know I'll get to see her again, someday, though. This isn't the end.

Patricia Ann Martin-Bevell
October 11, 1934 - January 27, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hard times

And I'm not talking about the economy.

My Granny has been in and out of the hospital for almost a month. I dropped everything and drove to TX by myself to be with her. I watched her, sat with her, held her hand, painted her nails, fed her, turned her, helped change her, pleaded with nurses for her, argued with the doctor for her, demanded she be more comfortable, slept next to her in the chair bed, played Elvis and George Strait music for her, showed her pictures, sang to her. I did anything I could for her. She didn't always know who I was, but was comforted having someone there to keep her company. She was hurting and that was hard to see. Strokes can really take someone out.

I also saw and was heartbroken at how utterly alone someone can be at the end of their life and how incredibly sad that is. How incredibly heartwrenching to have family who will not sacrifice their time to hold a hand or just sit in the room with their sick relative for more than an hour a day.

I've mourned and been so angry. I'm numb, now. Anything can happen and I don't know that I will feel it.

I'm sorry. I know this is incredibly depressing, but that has been my life this month. Great way to start off the New Year, huh?

There is so much more I can write, but it is late and my mind is foggy.

I was in TX for about 10 days spending 20-26 hours with her at one time. I finally came back home in exhaustion. I can go back at any time. I'm waiting for the right time. It will be soon.

She is in Houston in ICU. She has pneumonia she may not recover from at this point. A machine is breathing for her, and she never wanted this.

In one of her lucid moments, she told me she was ready to go. So ready. The next morning she perked up and told Chris on my cell phone about the journey she had taken that week. She saw so many people and had strange dreams, but she got to come back. She was so glad she was alive and got to be with such wonderful people. I left the next day. She had another stroke a couple of days later. Ended back up in the ER and now in ICU. What an emotional roller coaster.

I keep feeling like I need to go back the last few days, but then something grabs my reins and says to stay here. I feel such peace and don't feel like I need to go, yet.

I know my husband loves me. He let me go. He let me go there, and told me every day I was there to take all the time I needed. All that stopped me was my body giving out. Not a nagging husband demanding me or whining at me to come home and take care of our home and children. He is so great. My kids are great, too. If they cried for me, they didn't show it or tell me about it which would crush me even more. They were strong and took care of themselves and our home while I had to be away. My dear mother-in-law dropped everything and stayed here for 5 days to keep them company and help India take care of the boys. She even did homeschooling with them.

I'm so grateful for them.

It is hard to watch someone you love suffer. So hard. I do not know how my other Granny nursed so many loved ones for months on end - her husband, my father, and her own sister last year. She is a rock.